Man given suspended jail term for incidents including ‘grabbing ex-wife by hair’

Ballymena Court.

DISTRICT Judge Nigel Broderick at Ballymena Magistrates Court said he takes a “dim view” of domestic abuse after a Carnlough man was given a five months jail term suspended for two years.

The defendant, whose name was given as Jock Finnegan and then John Finnigan on separate charge sheets, admitted charges of assaulting his ex-wife and causing criminal damage to a door at her home and breaching a Non-Molestation Order.

Incidents happened last November and December.

The defendant (60), had two addresses listed in Carnlough on the charge sheets including Beachlands.

The court heard the couple had been married for almost 30 years.

During an incident in November it was alleged the defendant had slapped his wife on the face and grabbed her by the hair and threatened to throw her down stairs.

The defendant said he had five or six pints in a bar before the incident and although he admitted assault he denied threatening to push his former partner down the stairs.

In December he damaged a door and his wife locked herself in a bathroom and when spoken to by police the defendant said drink had “got the better of him”.

Defence solicitor Sara Edge said the defendant, a retired engineer with a very long and successful career, had gone to the property in a “desperate last ditch attempt to reconcile his marriage” but it had been “poorly thought out”.

The defendant was also put on Probation for a year and a Restraining Order prevents him from entering a part of Carnlough for two years.

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