Jailed for ‘disgraceful’ domestic assault

A 31-year-old man has been jailed for 12 months for a ‘disgraceful’ domestic assault.

Niall O’Hara, of Elmwood Terace, admitted assaulting his partner and her sister, making threats to kill and causing criminal damage on April 20.

Derry Magistrate’s Court heard a taxi driver saw three children running from a house crying and reported it to police. When officers went to the house they saw O’Hara assaulting a female.

The injured party told police the defendant arrived drunk at a Confirmation. He grabbed a laptop she had been using and smashed it to the ground, then pulled her around the room by the hair. She sustained an injury that required six stitches. There were three children present aged 12, 11 and ten.

Defence counsel Stephen Chapman said this was “an horrendous description of domestic violence”. The defendant accepts he had “sabotaged this family”.

Judge Barney McElholm said this was another example of “a victim who was so terrified of a perpetrator to the extent she did not report previous incidents to police.” The attack took place in front of three children and “this is why domestic violence is so insidious, there is not one victim there are many victims”.

He added: “If we could eradicate domestic violence there would be a lot less offending”.