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Man who headbutted woman and smashed her phone jailed for eight months

The district judge - pointing out the defendant had 93 previous convictions - warned him: 'If he doesn't start to address his problems with drugs and alcohol he'll not see 30'

A Newry man who headbutted a woman and smashed her mobile phone has been sentenced to eight months in prison.

Sentencing the 29-year-old, the district judge commented: “If he doesn’t start to address his problems with drugs and alcohol he’ll not see 30.”

Stephen Anthony McEvoy, of Stoney Hill, pleaded guilty to 15 charges at the city’s Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, via videolink from Maghaberry.

These were namely; assault occasioning actual bodily harm, theft, criminal damage, breach of a non-molestation order, two counts of possession of Class B, five counts of assault on police, possession of Class A, two counts of possession of Class C and disorderly behaviour.

Prosecution informed the court that the charged were accrued by the defendant over two separate incidents.

Firstly, on November 1, at 4.53am, police received a report from the injured party claiming that she had been assaulted by McEvoy and was currently at Daisy Hill Hospital.

In an account recorded on police bodycam, the injured party outlined she had been at her friend’s home in Bessbrook, when the defendant took umbrage at her being on her phone.

McEvoy then proceeded to headbutt the female, leaving her with swelling to the face and a cut to her lip, before grabbing and smashing her mobile.

The defendant was told to leave the property, but as he did so McEvoy took two mobile phones without their owners’ permission.

He is alleged to have further assaulted the injured party at the entrance to an apartment, before she was taken to Daisy Hill by a friend.

McEvoy was arrested at his address later that day and during a search police located a deal bag of suspected cannabis.

When interviewed, the defendant provided mostly no comment to the charges which were put to him.

Then at 12.15am on February 2, of this year, police on patrol of Monaghan Street in Newry observed McEvoy hiding behind a bin upon seeing them.

Officers spoke to the defendant. He was believed to be under the influence and a check of systems showed bail conditions that he was not to be intoxicated in a public place.

A preliminary breath test was conducted resulting a fail. Officers also seized a red tub which McEvoy attempted to hand over to a friend.

This was found to contain suspected Class A and C drugs, with a further quantity of suspected cannabis also being found on the defendant’s person.

McEvoy informed police that he had consumed some 30 co-codamol tablets and was taken to Daisy Hill Hospital as a precaution.

Whilst in the vehicle, after being refused a cigarette, the defendant began headbutting the window pane.

He kicked out at officers as they removed him, having to be brought to the ground and handcuffed before being put in a cell van.

Inside, he then began headbutting the paneling. Due to concern one constable entered in order to stop him and he was struck with a headbutt.

When interviewed, McEvoy made admissions to the possession charges levelled at him.

Defence barrister Seamus Lannon stated: “It is accepted that the custody threshold has been crossed. Mr McEvoy is realistic about that proposition.

“He has pleaded guilty and saved court time. I have represented him for a number of years, but last November for the first time he independently contacted addiction services.”

He added: “His face is as happy face as I have seen him in a long time. It was previously a face in the grips of addiction issues.”

District Judge Eamonn King stated: “He has 93 previous convictions, which started all the way back in 2010 and they are right accross the full spectrum of offences.

“If he doesn’t start to address his problems with drugs and alcohol he’ll not see 30.”

McEvoy was sentenced to a total of eight months in prison.

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