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Tandragee man ‘vindicated’ after wife sentenced for assault

'It's been a nightmare but I'm glad that this has finally come to an end'

A Tandragee woman who assaulted her husband and waved a knife at him has been spared prison.

Naomi McConville, of Knockview Drive, was made subject of a restraining order for a period of two years and handed probation for the same period at a hearing before Armagh Magistrates’ Court, sitting at Newry Courthouse on Tuesday.

The 35-year-old was charged with possessing an offensive weapon in a public place, persistent improper use of communications and two counts of common assault.

Following news of the sentencing, the victim spoke to Armagh I saying he felt “vindicated” by the ruling.

“It’s been a nightmare but I’m glad that this has finally come to an end,” he said. “The threshold to convict is so high so I feel vindicated. I had to have faith in the justice system.”

Whilst he has taken some comfort in the ruling, he argues that if the roles were reversed “I feel the man would be in jail”.

He advised men, who are themselves suffering, not to be afraid to go to the police.

Tuesday’s court heard on Monday, July 17 last year, police were alerted to a domestic assault which occurred on July 15.

The injured party alleged that in the early hours of that morning, his wife was sending him messages of a threatening nature. He said that he had then returned home and the defendant had been drinking alcohol.

He told her she should not be drinking alone with children in the house and she allegedly became “verbally abusive”, before he went to bed.

He stated he then continued to receive abusive text messages, before the defendant entered the bedroom at approximately 2:15am and hit him in the face with a closed fist at least 10 times.

The injured party then went downstairs and the defendant left the house. She later returned and began hitting the window.

When the injured party opened the window and asked her to stop, she punched him to the jaw using a closed fist.

The injured party recorded a number of videos of the incident, which were provided to police.

He later unlocked the door and returned to bed. She later returned and attempted to hit him, continuing to be verbally abusive.

In the early hours of July 24, the injured party was at his brother’s address when he heard activity outside. He looked out the window and observed the defendant sitting in her car waving a knife at him.

The injured party’s brother was present and provided a statement.

They received a phone call from the defendant, during which she is alleged to have said: “I need my f***ing kids out of that house, I have a bladed weapon here, phone 999.”

She was later observed by police wielding the knife and she was asked to drop it. She was arrested and deemed medically unfit for interview.

A defence lawyer then spoke on the McCoville’ss behalf, citing her “good work record”, amongst other mitigating factors.

Speaking to the defendant, District Judge Watters said: “I am presuming that your main motivation at the moment is to get better access to your children?”

She imposed a probation order of two years, telling the defendant she must participate in any work recommended and that she must not develop an intimate relationship without notifying her probation officer.

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