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Man with three-page domestic violence record given chance to prove judge wrong

A Portadown man with a three page record relating to domestic violence has been given the chance to prove a judge wrong in order to escape a prison sentence.

The 35-year-old was instructed to abstain from alcohol and drugs, obey court orders and not come to the attention of police.

Paul Davidson, of Westland Road, appeared for sentencing on breaching a restraining order at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Friday.

Prosecution outlined that on July 5, at 5.55pm, the injured party contacted police to say that the defendant had banged on her house door before making off.

She informed officers that this was in breach of a restraining order which banned him from being within 50-metres of Jervis Street in Portadown,

Davidson was located by police a short distance away and he was subsequently arrested, making no reply to caution.

During interview, the defendant made admissions to being at the injured party’s home and said that he was aware of the restraining order.

Defence barrister Aaron Thompson stated: “It is not lost on Mr Davidson that, given his criminal record and the domestic setting of this offence, that the custody threshold has been met.

“He has accepted that taking alcohol is not great for him and he had little recollection of attending his ex-partner’s address.”

He continued: “Bail was not achieved immediately and Mr Davidson spent two weeks in custody, he has now moved to Armagh where he desires to live full time.

“He has also been in contact with Social Services to organise contact with the common child to the two parties”.

District Judge Bernie Kelly said: “That is not right, to treat the mother of his child like that, I do not think that is is appropriate for a child to be reared to have those views, to think this is normal”.

Mr Thompson stated: “Those matters are being looked at very carefully by Social Services and Mr Davidson has made it clear he will take any penalty your worship wishes to impose.

“The cycle at some point is got to have to break or it will inevitably end in a longer stay in Maghaberry for him.”

He added: “There are the shoots of progress there as he has removed himself from the area and there is nothing else pending for him.”

Judge Kelly said: “The dynamics of these types of offences amaze me, I don’t know how in your head it is okay to abuse the mother of your child and think it will not affect you contact with that child.

“You are insistent on seeing this child despite the fact you have a three page record with all offences relating to domestic violence.”

She continued: “You were literally out of prison a week when this offence occurred and you had the cheek to say prison had taught you a salutary lesson.

“You say you are alcohol-free but you need to be drug free, I am going to give you a chance to prove me wrong.”

Sentencing was deferred to December 13 and Davidson was instructed to be drug and alcohol free, to adhere to court orders and not come to the attention of police.

Judge Kelly told the defendant: “If you do this I will find a way to sentence you which will not result in the immediate loss of your liberty.”

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