Five months in prison for domestic violence

The courthouse at Bishop Street, Derry.

The courthouse at Bishop Street, Derry.

A man has been jailed for five months after being convicted of harrassing, assaulting and stealing from his ex-partner.

35-year-old Ryan Hegarty of Glenabbey Drive in the city appeared before Derry Magistrates Court on Wednesday.

He faced a charge of harrassment, two counts of making threats to kill and two counts of common assault.

The court heard that the offences were committed against his ex-partner and against another man on dates between June and August, 2015.

It also emerged that an iPhone and £700 were stolen from Hegarty’s ex-girlfriend.

Defence Cousel for Ryan Hegarty, Mr Eoghan Devlin told the court that the defendant had a “significant record”. The barrister said that Hegarty admitted the offences against the other man but denied the charges against his former partner.

Eoghan Devlin told the court that Hegarty has a history of mental health issues and had “periodically used alcohol as a crutch.”

It was also stated that the root of Hegarty’s mental health problems are thought to have stemmed from a very traumatic incident which took place in his childhood.

Defence cousel also stated that there had been a gap of almost eight years since he had last committed a number of “fairly serious offences,” and that Hegarty had been assessed as someone considered to be suitable to take part in a probation programme.

However in response, District Judge Barney McElholm dismissed the idea that a period of probation was a suitable resolution for Ryan Hegarty.

Mr McElholm told the court: “I am somewhat surprised at the suggestion by Probation Services for a probation order.

“He shows no remorse and continually denies certain offences.

“Frankly, I don’t believe probation would ever get off the ground.

“He contested this and shows no remorse whatsoever. He also has a releavnt domestic violence record with three separate sets of offences against other partners.”

Judge McElholm sentencedthe defendant to five months in prison and imposed a restraining order of four years on him.

Ryan Hegarty was also ordered to pay a £25 offenders levy.