An Armagh man who made threats to kill his ex-partner after claiming she had taken their son out for dinner with another man has been sentenced to 40 hours of community service.
Court heard the 36-year-old had called the injured party 47 times making threats such as “I am going to break your face” and “I am going to kick your s*** in”.
Patrick Halligan, of Tullymore Road, pleaded guilty to threats to kill, threats to damage property, harassment and improper use of electronic communications at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.
Court heard that on February 4, at around 3pm, the defendant contacted the injured party, his former partner, and was verbally aggressive.
Halligan was angry as he claimed the injured party had taken their son out for dinner with another male.
Court heard that the pair had separated around five or six years prior.
The defendant made threats to the injured party including; “I am going to break your face”, “I am going to burn your car out” and “I am going to kick your s*** in”.
Halligan made 47 calls from unknown numbers to the injured party.
Two of these calls were picked up by his ex-partner as she believed it could have been the police.
In these the defendant made further threats including; “You better sleep with one eye open” and “first I am going to burn your car out, then I am going to kill you”.
Police attended with the injured party and were given a statement.
They attempted to reach Halligan but were unsuccessful.
On February 6, the defendant again contacted the injured party and continued to be verbally abusive.
He was angry at the involvement of police and told his ex-partner: “You’ll be sorry.”
Halligan was subsequently arrested and taken to Lurgan Custody Suite.
During interview, the defendant claimed to have been intoxicated for some time and that he did not have great memory of the calls.
He accepted that all the statements were true and claimed he lost it over his son being in the company of another male.
Defence barrister Joel Lindsay stated: “He is very remorseful and rightly so, for a man who has made it to this age without showing the propensity of this type of behaviour.
“They had separated some five or six years; it was out of the blue to make 47 calls of this nature and his ex-partner was rightfully frightened.”
He said: “Mr Halligan has struggled with alcohol and drug addiction, he had been drinking for a number of days, if not a week, when he heard the news from his son.
“There is no reason for his reaction, there was nothing new, the relationship had long ended.”
Mr Lindsay stated: “If he had any record for this type of behaviour it would be taken to the Crown Court, it shouldn’t happen and won’t happen again.”
It was heard the defendant was a joiner by trade but had not worked for many years due to mental health problems.
Deputy District Judge Laura Ivers said: “This is a very serious matter, but I am going to take into account your record.
“You are a man of mature years who is willing and able to change.”
Halligan was sentenced to a combination order consisting of 40 hours of community service and 18 months of probation.
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