Jail sentence for domestic violence

The courthouse at Bishop Street, Derry.
The courthouse at Bishop Street, Derry.

A man has been jailed for five months after being convicted at Londonderry Magistrates’ Court of harassing, assaulting and stealing from his ex-partner.

Ryan Hegarty (35) of Glenabbey Drive was charge with harassment, two counts of making threats to kill and two of common assault against his ex-partner and another man on dates between June and August, 2015. It also emerged that an iPhone and £700 were stolen from Hegarty’s ex-girlfriend.

Eoghan Devlin, defence counsel, said his client had a significant record and Hegarty admitted the offences against the other man but denied those against his former partner.

He said Hegarty had a history of mental health issues, had used alcohol as a crutch and the root of his mental health problems were thought to have stemmed from a traumatic incident in childhood.

Counsel stressed there had been a gap of almost eight years since Hegarty had last committed fairly serious offences and he had been assessed as suitable for a probation programme.

District Judge Barney McElholm dismissed the idea saying Hegarty had showed no remorse and continually denied certain offences.

“Frankly, I don’t believe probation would ever get off the ground,” he said.

Judge McElholm sentenced the defendant to five months in prison and imposed a restraining order of four years on him.

Hegarty was also ordered to pay a £25 offenders levy.