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Five years for man who subjected ex-partner to ‘violent and disgraceful’ series of attacks in their Portadown home

A man who engaged in a spate of “disgraceful” attacks his then partner in their Portadown home has been jailed for five years.

Jason Veitch, 46, with an address of Bristol Park in Newtownards, appeared before Craigavon Crown Court, via videolink from Maghaberry, for sentencing on Friday.

Veitch pleaded guilty to the charges of: attempted grievous bodily harm with intent, two counts of common assault, threat to kill and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

The cases relate to a series of domestic violence incidents towards a former partner.

The first charge relates to an incident that occurred between March 1 and April 11, 2020. The court heart that the defendant ran at the woman in a temper and knocked her to the floor before kicking her in the ribs several times.

The next incident was on April 11 – Easter Saturday. The injured party was struck several times in the head and fell to the floor. The court heard that as a result of the attack she was unable to climb the stairs to say goodnight to her children.

The remaining charges took place on April 16, when Veitch called her a “rat” following an argument, and headbutted her to the left side of her head. He threatened to stab her and told her “you’re going to die soon”.

Later that day, he assaulted her after instructing her to clean the fridge. The incident was captured on CCTV which Veitch had installed himself; footage of which was shown in court.

The defendant approached the woman at her kitchen table with a butter knife in his hand and struck her approximately seven times to the back of the head. He knocked her to the floor and stamped several times in the direction of her head.

When arrested, the defendant made no comment in relation to the allegations, which he has now pleaded guilty to.

A report from a clinical psychologist suggested that they believed the injured party was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Presiding officer, His Honour Judge Patrick Lynch QC, commenting in relation to the psychologist’s report, said: “There’s absolutely no doubt that his opinion is that the condition of the injured party in this case is as a direct consequence of the actions of the defendant himself, not only in relation to these matters but over a period of years.”

Defence barrister Aaron Thompson had made the point previously that Veitch was entitled to credit due to his guilty plea.

He invited the court to look at the ‘big picture’ of the fractious relationship. He also pointed to psychiatric reports in relation to the defendant, which say he has a “long history of psychiatric illness” and recounts the defendant being the victim of a serious assault twenty years ago.

Another doctor referred to the defendant as a “vulnerable individual” and said he had a “high level of resting anxiety”.

Judge Lynch added: “He still attempts to minimise his involvement in the violent and disgraceful attack upon this lady.”

Veitch was sentenced to five years in prison for attempted grievous bodily harm with intent, six months each for both common assaults, two years for the threat to kill and two years for the assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

The sentences were to be served concurrently, leaving a total sentence of five years imprisonment.

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