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Man drove to woman’s home drunk then assaulted her with an umbrella

Defendant no recollection of offence

A Portadown man who assaulted a woman with an umbrella after accusing her sons of assaulting him has been handed a suspended prison sentence.

Aaron Fearon, 35, of Ashley Close, pleaded guilty at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Friday to common assault, possession of an offensive weapon, possession of class A and driving with excess alcohol in his breath.

Court heard on March 10 at around 10pm police were called to an address in the Beeches, Portadown, to the report of a disturbance.

They spoke to the injured party who stated the defendant had arrived at her house driving a Volkswagen Passat whilst heavily intoxicated.

She explained he then began accusing her sons of assaulting him and when she approached he hit her with an umbrella.

It was also heard the engine had been left running and door open, so the injured party turned the ignition off.

When police arrived they noted the victim had scratches on her chest and the defendant was holding the broken handle of the umbrella.

A preliminary breath test was failed by Fearon who made no reply when cautioned.

He was taken into custody where a search was conducted and a small bag of cocaine was found.

A second breath test gave a reading of 85mg in 100ml of breath.

When interviewed the defendant told officers he had no recollection of the offence, adding that all he could remember was going to a GAA club on the Garvaghy Road where he had drunk alcohol.

Fearon explained the cocaine had been purchased about two weeks previous for around £40 and that the umbrella was normally kept in his car.

Defence counsel stated the defendant had significant mental health issues and in the past had abused drugs and alcohol.

She added that Fearon at the time of this offence was on appeal bail for another offence for which he served six weeks in custody.

It was heard that this was the defendant’s “first taste of custody” but he was now sober after seeking help from his GP.

Defence counsel also explained Fearon had been the victim of an assault for which he believed on this night the injured party’s sons were involved but she stated this was not an excuse.

District Judge Bernie Kelly said, “this was a breach of bail to appeal, it is a very serious matter to turn up on a stranger’s doorstep and assault a female”.

Fearon was sentenced to four months in prison suspended for three years and was disqualified from driving for 12 months.

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