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Man to appeal three month prison sentence for harassment of female

Prosecution outlined how in one call defendant had stated: 'I want to be friends. I can't lose you it will kill me'

A man who harassed a female in breach of an injunction is to appeal a sentence of three months in prison.

Sentencing the 27-year-old, the district judge commented: “It is demeaning that any woman is not allowed to say no and for that reason they are serious offences. I can’t believe it is the 21st Century and I am sitting her saying this.”

Gregory McCullough, of Wynthorpe Grove in Newtownabbey, appeared for sentencing on seven counts of breaching an injunction prohibiting harassment at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court.

Defence barrister Nadine Knight informed the court that her client had that same morning been sentenced to 15 months in prison suspended for three years.

Outlining the background, prosecution explained how on November 1, of 2019, this defendant was served with an injunction prohibiting him from harassing the injured party.

The injured party reported multiple breaches of this injunction by McCullough, between December 13 and February 23, of 2020.

It was outlined that in mid-December, the injured party received a letter from the defendant in Maghaberry. The content was not of a threatening nature but it was unwanted.

Throughout January, the injured party received calls from the defendant including a nurse at Craigavon Area Hospital informing her incorrectly that she was McCullough’s next of kin.

Prosecution outlined how in one call, the defendant had stated: “I want to be friends. I can’t lose you it will kill me.”

McCullough was subsequently arrested for the offences on February 25.

Ms Knight informed court that there had been no further breaches since February 2020, adding that none of the contact was of a “menacing, threatening or malicious nature”.

District Judge Bernie Kelly stated: “I am having great difficulty with this. This is the sort of plea that I would normally get from a man. What part of a woman saying no does he not understand and why should we apologise for women saying no?

“It does not matter the content….the presentence report evidences that he has no remorse, no empathy for her position. It is all about Mr McCullough and that’s classic.”

Ms Knight reiterated that there had been no breaches since and that the message had “got through to Mr McCullough”.

District Judge Kelly stated: “It is demeaning that any woman is not allowed to say no and for that reason they are serious offences. I can’t believe it is the 21st Century and I am sitting her saying this.”

She added that given McCullough had ruled out the possibility of a community based disposal she was left with “no option” in sentencing.

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

Ms Knight made it known that McCullough wished to appeal the sentence, and bail to do so was set at £500.

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