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Lurgan man who subjected girlfriend to ‘harrowing’ violent assault jailed

'I was terrified. I thought I was going to die and he wouldn't stop'

Craigavon Court

A Lurgan man who violently assaulted his then girlfriend with a wine glass before choking and beating her to a point where she dropped in and out of consciousness has been jailed.

Simon Andrew Taylor, of Trasna Way, caused a 7cm laceration to the head of his ex-girlfriend but was so inebriated at the time he could not remember the “harrowing” and prolonged attack on his defenceless victim.

The 38-year-old appeared before Craigavon Crown Court for sentencing on Friday.

A prosecution barrister told the court that Taylor had previously pleaded not guilty to the more serious Section 18 assault/wounding charge and guilty to a lesser Section 20 assault charge.

This was initially rejected by the prosecution, however, due to a change in the victim’s attitude and a willingness “to get on with her life”, the lesser assault charge was accepted.

The court heard that on June 18, last year at around 2.20am, police were called to a property in Trasna Way, which the couple had been sharing.

In the course of that particular evening, the pair had been drinking vodka-based cocktails but according to the victim he had been drinking more.

Taylor was playing music very loudly in the home that particular evening. It was so loud, to the extent that neighbours were banging on the walls.

The victim was in the bedroom and had remonstrated with Taylor about his behaviour. She then went downstairs, took the speaker and brought it upstairs.

The victim then goes on to describe that he shouted angrily, “don’t take my stuff, my property away from me”. This happened again.

See then threw the speaker against a wardrobe upstairs, at which point he became abusive, saying things like, “I hate you and I wish I’d never met you”.

She slapped Taylor across his face and as she walked away the defendant, who was holding a crystal glass, threw drink over her shouting, “you’re making me do this” before hitting her on the top of the head with the glass.

She said she thought she blacked out for a minute or two. Taylor was continually shouted at her and she couldn’t remember exactly what he was saying.

He then grabbed her by the hair of the head and hit it against a wall in the hallway.

She noted: “I think I was in and out of consciousness but I could hear him shouting, ‘I didn’t want to do this’. I slouched down on the floor. I remember being punched by Simon three or four times to the stomach; it was very painful. I was terrified. I thought I was going to die and he wouldn’t stop.

“He grabbed my head and banged my head against the shoe rack in the hall. I think I was in and out of consciousness a few times throughout. His voice was raised loudly. But my hearing wasn’t now good and I couldn’t make out what he was saying.”

The assault continued as she tried to get free of the house. Taylor stood over his victim.

She said: “He’s now standing over me. He started choking me, putting both hands around my neck; I couldn’t breathe. He was pressing his hands tightly around my neck. I could feel his thumbs pressing. I was trying to scream but I couldn’t. I rolled around, I was on my side and I wriggled free. I was in fear for my life.”

Taylor kicked and punched his victim as she lay on the ground before she managed to break free and run to a neighbour.

The court heard that Taylor had two previous convictions of assault but neither were in a domestic setting.

A victim impact statement described how the injured party went into a depressive state as a result of what occurred. She described the incident as having totally transformed her life physically and mentally, and how she became “trapped in my own head”.

Taylor’s defence barrister said his client “asked me to apologise to the victim through the court”.

He added: “The accused believes that his inebriated condition on the day in question may well have been triggered by the fact that, that very day was his younger brother’s anniversary, and it would appear he had a taste for anything alcoholic in the house….

“…perhaps fortuitously, for not only the victim but also the accused, the physical injuries suffered by the complainant were relatively modest. That said, the photographs capture what must have been a harrowing event for the complainant.”

His Honour Judge Patrick Lynch KC handed Taylor a 12 month custodial sentence followed by 16 months on licence. However, with time already served on remand, Taylor will be free before summer.

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