Couple sentenced for hammer attack

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A couple who were involved in a hammer attack have received suspended jail sentences.

Stephen Martin Harkin, (30), of The Cottage, Termon Street, and 33-year-old Nadine Louise McCormick, of Abbey Park, were convicted of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

McCormick was also found guilty of a further charge of common assault on February 10, 2014.

Derry Magistrate’s Court heard police received a 999 call from a woman who reported that she had been attacked with a hammer.

Police then received a report from McCormick who claimed that she had been assaulted by the first caller.

Officers attended the scene and it was reported that McCormick and her boyfriend, 30-year-old Harkin, had been drinking ‘heavily’ with the complainants.

There was an altercation between them and McCormick and Harkin allegedly struck the other couple with a hammer.

Harkin also kicked the man to the head and body and the woman fought back in self defence.

Nicki Rountree, defending McCormick, said her client did not have a criminal record.

The barrister said that as a result of the amount of alcohol consumed there was ‘little clarity from anyone about exactly what happened’. Miss Rountree told the court McCormick was a ‘vulnerable individual’ and this incident was ‘extremely out of character for her’.

Eoghan Devlin, defending Harkin, said his client ‘at the age of 30 has managed to ruin his life through alcohol’.

Sentencing McCormick, District Judge Barney McElholm suspended an eight month sentence for two years and ordered her to spend 12 months on probation.

Turning to Harkin, the judge imposed a ten month sentence suspended for three years.