Avoids jail for assaults on ‘ex’

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A man who assaulted his former partner twice has avoided jail after a district judge imposed a suspended sentence.

Paul Martin Pius Kelly, whose address was given on court papers as Damien House, pleaded guilty to two charges of common assault between April 14 and July 4.

He also admitted stealing a bottle of vodka from Marks and Spencer in September 2007.

Derry Magistrate’s Court heard the 41-year-old pulled his ex-girlfriend to the ground and punched her seven times to the face.

He also grabbed her by the hair during the incident wihich was witnessed by other people in the Foyle Road area of the city.

He was arrested and during interview claimed she had tried to take money from him and he restrained her. However, Kelly denied assaulting the woman.

The court also heard details of the assault in April, in which Kelly grabbed the injured party by the hair and punched her a number of times in the face.

When police arrived at his home, the 41-year-old shouted at the woman “watch the beating you get” as he was taken into custody.

Defence solicitor Paddy MacDermott conceded his client’s record is “bad” however he said the assaults were a “one off incident”.

He said the 41-year-old doesn’t have a domestic violence record and there is “no chance” of the couple getting back together.

Deputy District Judge Terence Dunlop suspended a two month jail term for two years.