A 53-year old man was handed a 20-month sentence today (Monday) for attacking his partner with a hammer in the presence of her three-year old grandson.
Glen Hunt, from Conars Square in Londonderry, was told he will spend ten months in prison with a further ten months on licence for a incident branded as “shocking” by Judge Geoffrey Miller QC.
Belfast Crown Court heard that Hunt returned to his partner’s home in the Shankill area of Belfast after spending the day watching band parades and drinking. Prior to going home, the father of three got into an altercation with his partner’s brother, who he claimed assaulted him.
Crown barrister Mark Farrell said Hunt returned home at around 11.15pm on September 3 last year in an “intoxicated and agitated” state.
Hunt’s partner was up the stairs, and whilst in the bathroom she felt a thud to her shoulder. A struggle between the couple then ensued, during which she was pushed in the bath. She them saw Hunt raise his hand, and he struck her twice with a hammer.
Mr Farrell said the woman was able to get the hammer from Hunt, adding “the struggle came to an end when her grandson came into the bathroom.”
She left with the toddler, reported the matter to police and later sought treatment for two wounds at the Mater Hospital. She required stitches for a laceration to her forehead, sustained a chipped tooth and was also treated for a wound to her lip.
Hunt handed himself in to police in Derry three days later, and during interview made the case that he had been assaulted by his partner’s brother. He said that when he got home, her partner was on the phone with her brother and that he was in fear.
He subsequently pleaded guilty to wounding the woman, and to possessing the hammer with intent to commit assault.
The court heard the hammer used was already in the house. It also emerged that while Hunt has a criminal record of 25 convictions, there were no convictions for violent offences.
Defence barrister Luke Curran said there was no history of domestic violence between the two, adding that when Hunt returned home drunk after being assaulted, he felt in fear. This, the barrister said, was worsened as his partner was on the phone with her brother.
Mr Curren said what followed was a “short-lived but very regrettable episode between both parties”, adding Hunt fully accepted the woman sustained a significant injury for which he was responsible.
The barrister said that the incident occurred at a time when Hunt was “stressed” by a family matter, which led to him drinking more than usual. Mr Curran also said the incident was not pre-planned or pre-meditated.
Passing sentence, Judge Geoffrey Miller said that that woman was traumatised by the attack, and “continues to feel the after-effects of what was clearly a shocking incident.”