Driver who did u-turn before shouting ‘kill’ threat receives suspended jail term

Court

A MOTORIST who did a u-turn and chased his ex-partner who had been driving near Ballymoney before he kicked her vehicle whilst shouting he would kill her, has been given a four months jail sentence, suspended for two years.

A short time later on the same morning – in the winter of 2018 – Matthew McNeill (35), whose address was given as Straid Road near Ballycastle – then overtook the woman again and drove slowly forcing her to stop before he punched the car.

Children were in the woman’s car at the time, the court was told.

McNeill had been at court last year for sentencing on charges of causing criminal damage to a BMW and breaches of Non-Molestation Orders at Benvardin Road, Derrykeighan and also at another road in the Ballymoney area.

At court last year a defence lawyer said the incidents followed an “extremely acrimonious separation”.

At last year’s court, sentencing had been deferred for 12 months.

Back at Coleraine Magistrates Court in recent days it was heard McNeill spotted his ex-partner driving and he turned his vehicle and approached from behind at speed.

When she turned off the road the defendant blocked an entrance and got out and shouted: “I’ll f*cking kill you” whilst kicking the door of her car.

A short time later the woman was again driving when McNeill overtook her and forced her to stop and after getting out of his vehicle he was again shouting and punched the vehicle.

The prosecutor said the couple’s two children were present during that incident.

A defence lawyer said the defendant had attended the Building Better Relationships programme and is a long distance lorry driver with a firm in the Ballymena area.

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