Man who assaulted two women and two children sentenced to eight months in prison

The courthouse at Bishop Street, Derry.
The courthouse at Bishop Street, Derry.

A 43 year-old man convicted of a string of offences including two counts for assault on two children was sentenced to eight months in prison at Derry Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday.

Cathal Joseph Ebbs, of 20 Primrose Street, Derry, pleaded guilty to assaulting two women and two children while they sat in a car in Spencer Road on April 15 this year.

The court heard that Ebbs approached the car and used a brick to repeatedly smash the car windscreen.

A prosecuting solicitor told the court that the two children who were in the car at the time were terrified.

Ebbs then put his head inside the car making one of the victims afraid she would be struck.

Police apprehended Ebbs at his home where he proceeded to shout abuse at officers calling them “RUC scum”.

Police recovered a brick in the house and Ebbs told police “I did it to the wh..e scumbag” and “I just seen a nigger, Jew, paedophile, b.....d family and smashed their windows in”.

The court also heard that Ebbs and one of the victims had been partners 24 years ago but there had been no contact since then.

The prosecuting solicitor told the court Ebbs displayed no remorse and suggested a motive for the attack could have been because the injured parties were related to police officers.

According to a victim impact statement, one of the adult victims said she was traumatised by what had happened and one of the children was also afraid to be left on their own as a result of Ebbs’ actions.

Ebbs’ defence solicitor said his client’s behaviour was “disgraceful” but asked District Judge Barney McElholm to take into consideration his client’s poor mental health.

“There is very little wrong with him that cannot be treated by him taking his medication instead of drugs,” said Judge McElholm.

“This is a disgraceful incident and heaven only knows the lasting damage it has caused to the children. You are a disgrace and if I felt I could sentence him to more time in prison I certainly would.”

Ebbs was convicted of four counts of common assault; criminal damage; possessing a Class B controlled drug; two counts of disorderly behaviour and resisting police and sentenced to eight months in prison.

Ebbs’solicitor informed the court that his client would be appealing the sentence.

Ebbs was released on his own bail of £500 on the condition he does not contact either directly or indirectly any of the injured parties. He must also re-engage with his GP, take all prescribed medication and take no non-prescribed drugs.

Ebbs is due to appear in court again next month.