Woman could not breathe in attack

Bishop street Courthouse
Bishop street Courthouse

A Waterside man was given a three-year jail term when he appeared at Londonderry Crown Court, charged with attempting to cause grievous bodily harm.

In court was Joseph Martin Healy (27), of Hollymount Park and the court heard that during an attack on October 22, 2013, on his ex-partner’s mother the woman feared she would be killed and since then had to take security measures because she was in fear of a repeat incident.

The court heard that the defendant had been in a relationship with a woman and on the day in question the woman’s mother saw Healy in her backyard at 8am. He entered the house and the woman threw a cup of tea at him but he grabbed her by the neck and squeezed it so hard she couldn’t breathe. The attack ended when the woman’s daughter came down the stairs and shouted at Healy, who ran off. Healy was later arrested at Altnagelvin Hospital but was deemed unfit to for interview.

Passing sentence Judge Philip Babington said Healy was interviewed by police about the incident and, during preparation of a pre-sentence report, Healy no recollection of going to the house.

Judge Babington said there was a quite graphic victim impact report and it was revealed Healy had psychiatric issues and claimed he heard voices telling him to attack his former partner’s family.

Judge Babington ordered Healy to serve half his jail term, observe a 90-day curfew on release, and he also imposed a five year restraining order preventing contact with the injured party.