Jailed for five months

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A man who breached a court order by contacting his ex-girlfriend has been jailed for five months.

Derek Lishman, of Northland Avenue, pleaded guilty to breaching a non-molestation order on two seperate occasions earlier this year.

Derry Magistrates Court heard that on February 29, Lishman breached the order by sending text messages to his ex-partner.

She told police she was “scared” he would continue to send messages.

Lishman was arrested but denied sending the text messages, claiming he was sleeping at the time.

Then in June this year, the 29-year-old phoned the woman from his brother’s phone.

She advised him that he was not allowed to contact her.

However, he replied “it doesn’t matter the thing is up in a couple of months, they can’t arrest me”.

Lishman made two more calls to the woman within 25 minutes, but she didn’t answer the phone.

Defence solicitor Kevin Casey told the court Lishman made the calls about contact with his child.

He said the 29-year-old is now making arrangements through solicitors and the court.

Mr Casey told the court things had “settled down” between Lishman and his ex-girlfriend and “animosity had been taken out of the situation”.

He added there was “no history of violence” or threats between the 29-year-old and the injured party.

However, District Judge Barney McElholm said that was a “common point raised by defendants”.

The judge said “victims of domestic abuse, particularly women, will often point out it is not the violence.

They can recover from physical attacks, its the constant wearing away of their spirit by someone who seeks to dominate and control their lives”.

He told the court “if we are ever going to tackle this problem of domestic abuse and men trying to exercise control over women, we have to get rid of that feeling of impunity perpetrators seem to have”.

Mr McElholm said he had already given Lishman a chance in April this year by suspending a two month jail term for a similar offence.

The judge activated the suspended sentence and jailed the 29-year-old for a total of five months.

He also imposed an offender levy of £25.