A DRUNKEN man with almost 400 previous convictions has been jailed for five months after his ex-wife and daughter were forced to barricade themselves into a bedroom to avoid being further assaulted.
Peter Hugh Michael Lyttle (50), with an address at Thomas Street in Ballymena, struck his wife and daughter after going to their home.
Lyttle was in court for sentencing on charges including two assaults on his ex-wife and two assaults on his daughter; damaging a front door and car belonging to his ex-partner and making a threat to kill his ex-wife.
Before he heard the facts District Judge Nigel Broderick briefly passed the case while ordering the defendant to read victim impact statements.
A prosecutor said that on June 26 this year Lyttle approached his ex-wife and daughter as they stood outside a property and when they went inside Lyttle entered without permission.
He was verbally abusive and despite being asked to leave he told his former partner: “I’m going to kill you” and struck her in the face before hitting her again and she also heard her daughter say: “Why did you hit me daddy”.
The mother and daughter went to a car and stayed there until police arrived.
Lyttle arrived back at the property on the same date kicking at the front door saying: “I’m getting f*cking in”. He pushed his daughter and slapped his ex-wife.
The ex-partner, daughter and a “friend” ran upstairs and boarded themselves into a bedroom and they could hear banging as Lyttle damaged a car.
A defence solicitor accepted it was “thuggish drunken behaviour” and Lyttle was ashamed of his behaviour.
He said Lyttle had an “appalling” record and Judge Broderick said it ran to 40 pages.
The defence lawyer said Lyttle had previously been in a long-standing relationship and had been described as a “good father”.
On the date in question, according to the solicitor, “drink got the better of” Lyttle and he attended the property at a time “the new boyfriend was there”.
Judge Broderick said the Victim Impact Statements showed the fear the ex-wife and daughter had been put in.
He said both had asked that Lyttle not be jailed and whilst he was taking onboard their comments the judge said that time and time again the courts had stated that determining sentence must be the decision of the courts.
He added: “This is a very serious case of domestic violence”.
He said Lyttle had 392 previous convictions including 41 assaults on police; 27 for common assault and twelve convictions for threats to kill.
Another conviction involved slapping two women on their bottoms as they walked along a street in Larne in 2016 and in 2018 he was put on the Sex Offenders Register for five years.
Judge Broderick told Lyttle:”To say that you have an appalling record is an understatement”.
The defendant was jailed him for five months and as part of a Restraining Order he is not to go within five miles of his ex-partner’s address.