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Prisoner freed on licence after arson conviction back in jail after headbutting female at her home

'He had only been released from custody some two or three weeks prior, but these offences were the result of a series of misjudged decisions'

police prison

A man who headbutted a female outside her own home as she returned from shopping has been sentenced to five months in prison.

Court heard that these offences led to the 34-year-old having his licence recalled and that he was now a serving prisoner not due for release until May 2022.

Eamon O’Hanlon, of Antrim Road in Belfast, pleaded guilty to common assault, assault on police, resisting police and criminal damage at Craigavon Magistrates’, sitting at Lisburn on Friday, via videolink from Magilligan.

Prosecution outlined that on May 12, at 5pm, police received a report from a female that she had been assaulted outside her home on Dunbarton Street in Gilford.

Officers arrived to find the defendant intoxicated banging on the door of the property.

The injured party said she had been returning home from the shop when she was approached by O’Hanlon who proceeded to headbutt her. Police observed a red mark on her head.

She also stated that the defendant had caused damage to her front door by kicking it.

The defendant was abusive to police and had to be restrained. He also attempted to headbutt one officer as they were placing handcuffs on him.

Prosecution stated that O’Hanlon had 53 previous convictions, the last of which dated back to February 2019.

That offence related to arson and he was sentenced to two years custody and two years on licence at Newry Crown Court.

Prior to that, the last offence was one of disorderly behaviour for which he received a community order back in 2016.

Defence barrister Conor Lunny stated: “There are no breaches of suspended sentence. He is now a recalled licence prisoner on foot of these offences and has secured his own incarceration.

“He will remain there until May 2022 unless the parole officers can be persuaded otherwise.”

He continued: “He had only been relased from custody some two or three weeks prior, but these offences were the result of a series of misjudged decisions.

“This was his chance to prove himself. When sober he presents a lucid and fairly mild mannered character. It is accepted that this offence is aggravated by the gender of the victim and the action of a headbutt.”

Mr Lunny added that O’Hanlon wished to apologise both to the female injured party and to the police.

District Judge Amanda Brady commented: “The headbutting of a female must be at the very high end of a common assault.”

The defendant was sentenced to five months in prison for the offences before the court.

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