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Armagh teenager avoids jail over assault on wife who was found by police at service station

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An Armagh teenager who assaulted his wife has avoided jail.

The 19-year-old has been made pay £750 in compensation and handed a suspended prison term.

Jonny Purcell, of Gosford Road, was sentenced for common assault at Banbridge Magistrates’ Court, sitting at Newry,  on Thursday.

Armagh Magistrates’ heard on Tuesday that on March 14, at around 10.15pm, police on patrol of the Gosford Road spotted a distressed woman in a dressing gown at a service station.

Officers spoke to her as she claimed to have been assaulted by her husband.

Police took a photograph of an injury to her left eye.

On April 12, Purcell attended Newry police station for an interview, during which he stated that the injured party had slapped him and that his action had been in self-defence.

He went on the accept that his reaction, however, had gone above and beyond reasonable force.

It was heard that the defendant had a limited record which included; one conviction for theft, one caution for theft and one offence of no insurance.

On Tuesday, District Judge Paul Copeland stated: “I am satisfied that this is on the cusp of a custodial sentence, but I think further consideration is required.

“This was an aggravated assault on a defenceless female.”

At Banbridge Magistrates’ Purcell was sentenced to five months in prison suspended for two years and ordered to pay £750 in compensation to the injured party.

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