A Co Armagh man who, under the influence, kicked his ex-partner’s door causing damage over “tension” regarding contact has been handed community service and probation.
The 53-year-old’s solicitor informed court that the damage had been rectified and said the defendant was “very sorry for any hurt he caused to the complainant”.
Mark William Stewart, of Corrinare Road in Loughgilly, appeared for sentencing on criminal damage, driving with excess alcohol and common assault at Armagh Magistrates’ on Tuesday, via videolink from his solicitor’s office.
Prosecution outlined that on November 20, at 10pm, police were called to a report of an ongoing domestic incident at Edenaveys Crescent, Armagh.
Officers arrived to find a Mercedes parked outside the property. They spoke to the female injured party who claimed the defendant had kicked her door three times, causing damage, and he had pushed passed her.
Upon arresting Stewart for the criminal damage, it was noted that he smelled of intoxicating liquor.
A preliminary breath test was requested by police but the defendant refused to comply stating that he had not been driving.
Stewart was taken to custody, where he did submit an evidential sample of breath which gave a reading of 41mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath.
Defence solicitor Oisin Toner stated that this was a “very unsavoury matter” which his client was “extremely contrite about”.
The solicitor informed court that the damage had been rectified and said the defendant was “very sorry for any hurt he caused to the complainant”.
Mr Toner stated the relationship had been amended somewhat with Stewart now having supervised contact with their children.
He added that the defendant knew there was “a lot of amends to be made” and admitted to having issues with alcohol which were “exacerbated” by the pandemic.
Deputy District Judge Philip Mateer stated: “I am told that this was in the background of tension between you and your then partner over wanting to see your children.
“It is clear that you were under the influence, which is evident as a result of you being tested some time later.”
He added: “You have been involved in harassment dating back to 2006 and I see from the report you have had alcohol problems since your marriage broke down in and around the year 2000.”
Stewart was sentenced to a combination order consisting of 100 hours community service and 18 months probation, in addition to being disqualified from driving for 12 months.
The defendant was also made subject to a restraining order, which banned him from harassing or causing fear of violence to the injured party, for a period of 18 months.