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Man punched partner in face, smashed eggs on her head and burnt her phone

The district judge told him: 'No one should be subjected to this sort of attack in their own home'

A Tandragee man who assaulted his long-term partner has been handed a two-year probation order.

Court heard how the 44-year-old broke a box of eggs on the injured party’s head, hit her with a plastic bin lid and threw her phone in the fire after she tried to call the police.

James William Neill, of Laurel Heights, pleaded guilty to criminal damage, possession of an offence weapon with intent to commit an indictable offence and common assault at Armagh Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday.

Court heard that on November 17, the defendant and the injured party had been at home drinking when they began arguing in the living room.

The pair then went to the kitchen of the property where Neill grabbed a kitchen knife.

The defendant broke a box of eggs on the injured party’s head, covering her hair and clothes.

He then punched the injured party to the left side of her face before delivering further kicks and punches.

It was heard that Neill also struck the injured party with a plastic bin lid.

A number of injuries were reported through both the assault and the injured party trying to defend herself.

She escaped the kitchen running upstairs to the bathroom to try and call the police.

The defendant managed to get her phone and threw it in the fire.

Neill was arrested and taken to Lurgan Custody Suite.

When interviewed, the defendant admitted all of the offences which he faced.

Defence solicitor Joseph McDonald stated: “This is a man with a reasonably clear record. He has just one similar matter.”

Court heard Neill had one previous assault charge which related to a male colleague at work.

Mr McDonald said: “This was a five-year relationship with no previous problems until this incident.

“Drink was a factor, Mr Neill has had a problem with alcohol, also with his mental state as he has suffered problems with depression.”

He stated: “Putting these two problems together is dangerous. This was an outburst, it was out of character and he is ashamed of his actions.

“This was a relationship which he considered to be long term, but now all ties are severed and he finds himself out of the family home living with his parents.”

Mr McDonald concluded: “This is his first time before the court, he works full time and has made moves in getting help from his GP.

“Mr Neill regrets what he has done and takes the matter very seriously.”

District Judge Rosie Watters stated: “Whenever we heard the facts, I am sure that everyone was appalled. I am sure you are appalled.

“No one should be subjected to this sort of attack in their own home.”

The defendant was sentenced to a two-year probation order.

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