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Jail for man who grabbed 71-year-old mother ‘by the throat’ and pushed her up against wall

Court heard defendant also pushed his sister before leaving the house

police prison

A man who grabbed his 71-year-old mother “by the throat” then pushed her against a wall was jailed for three months on Friday.

Craigavon Magistrates’ Court heard that police were called to a domestic disturbance at an address in Maghery on May 30 this year and recorded an account from Eamon McKernan’s sister on body worn cameras.

Although she refused to make a formal statement, she told police how there had been a verbal argument which developed into the 33-year-old assaulting both her and their mother.

“His mother is 71-years-old and he grabbed her by the throat and pushed her against the wall,” said the prosecuting lawyer, adding that McKernan also pushed his sister before leaving the house.

He was arrested in a nearby field but lashed out at the officers, kicking out at them and spitting straight in one officer’s face and inside the police cell van before he was restrained and had a spit guard put over his head.

Although neither victim made a formal statement of evidence, McKernan, with an address at Marian Avenue in Maghery, made full admissions and later entered guilty pleas to assaulting his mum and sister, assaulting a police officer and causing criminal damage to the police cell van.

Defence counsel Aaron Thompson said the “saddest reality” of the case were that McKernan’s mum and sister are the two people who provide him with “tremendous support”.

Sentencing McKernan, District Judge Bernie Kelly said she had “no hesitation whatsoever” in deciding that a prison sentence was the only appropriate disposal.

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