Derry man described as ‘danger to women’

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

A JUDGE described a Derry man, with a ‘long history of domestic abuse,’ as a ‘danger to women.’

District Judge Barney McElholm made the comment as 31-year-old Lee Martin James Healy appeared at the local Magistrates Court yesterday.

Healy, with an address at Spencer Road, pleaded guilty to assaulting his girlfriend on March 16th last.

He also admitted making a threat to kill and disorderly behaviour.

The court heard that during the incident, the injured party feared she would be raped.

The woman had been out celebrating Mother’s Day with members of Healy’s family when she received a number of messages from the 31-year-old asking her to come to his flat for a drink before she eventually turned her phone off.

Healy then phoned his sister and threatened to kill himself.

The injured party and Healy’s sister then arrived at his flat but he refused to let his sister in.

He subsequently grabbed the injured party and pushed her onto the floor.

The flat had been wrecked and the sofa torn apart by Healy, who was highly intoxicated.

Healy sat on top of the woman as she lay on the ground and placed his hand on her chest.

When interviewed by police, he claimed he loved the woman and ‘was only doing what he was doing because he loved her.’

They had been in a relationship for two months at the time.

The court was told Healy grabbed the woman by the throat and ‘pressed hard’ on her neck before she wriggled out from underneath him but he pulled her back by her jeans.

The woman shouted at him to ‘stop that is rape’ and she believed that if he had got his way he would have raped her.

The defendant then grabbed a knife, held it to the woman’s throat and threatened to kill her.

She pleaded with him and he threw it in the ground.

The injured party then ran out of the flat to a local bar and police were called.

When the police arrived, Healy was hanging out of a first floor window and threatened to shoot anyone who came near his flat.

The court also heard there had been a stand off between Healy and police which lasted for two hours with Spencer Road having to be closed to the public for this period.

He shouted abuse at police and moved toward officers with a vodka bottle in his hand. Then 41-years-old was tasered and when he was arrested he attempted to spit at police.

Defence Counsel, Ciaran Roddy, told the court it had been a ‘deeply disturbing incident.’ He said Healy is a ‘troubled individual’ who acted in an ‘unruly and unpredictable manner.’

The barrister added there was a ‘degree of wickedness and depravity in the way he conducted himself towards his partner’.

Jailing Healy for 10 months, District Judge Barney McElholm said this was a ‘very traumatic incident for the injured party.’

He also imposed a Restraining Order for five years which bans the defendant from harassing, threatening, molesting or intimidating the injured party.