Jailed for domestic assault

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A man who assaulted his ex-partner and their teenage son while armed with a hammer has been jailed for six months.

Fergal Leo Collins, with a bail address in Omagh, pleaded guilty to possession of a hammer and common assault on February 19.

The 34-year-old also admitted disorderly behaviour and criminal damage.

Derry Magistrate’s Court heard Collins was involved in a verbal altercation with his ex-girlfriend and her new partner in a local supermarket.

During this incident the 34-year-old threatened ‘I will get you’.

A couple of hours later, Collins went to their home armed with a hammer and started smashing picture frames and ornaments.

He lunged at his ex’s new partner as he was sitting on the sofa and assaulted him.

The defendant then pushed his ex-partner against a wall causing a radiator to fall off it. He then struck her once on the face.

The woman managed to push Collins out the door and he stood outside making gestures at the family.

One of these gestures included dragging his finger across his throat.

At one point he shouted at his ex-partner ‘I don’t care, I am going to jail anyway’.

It was revealed to the court that as he was smashing items in the house, Collins hit his son on the finger with the hammer.

He was left with a bloodied finger as a result.

All the injured parties were left ‘visibly shaken’ after the incident and arrangements had to made for the family to stay elsewhere until Collins was arrested.

None of them required medical assistance but £50 worth of damage was caused in the house,

Defence counsel Steven Mooney accepted the facts of this case were ‘pretty dreadful’.

He said his client had ‘sensibly’ come to court with his bags packed and ‘understands he won’t be leaving through the front door’.

The barrister added that a ‘combination of jealousy, drink and anger brought the defendant to the injured party’s house. It was a totally unjustified, reprehensible situation’.

Jailing Collins, District Judge Barney McElholm said ‘this was an absolutely disgraceful incident’ and was ‘premeditated’.

He added the defendant’s children ‘must have been frightened out of their wits’.