Former world boxing champion Eamonn Magee has been jailed for threatening to kill his ex-wife in a row over them spending Christmas together.
He was sentenced to three months in prison last night for making menacing remarks and then kicking Mary Magee's car as he left her west Belfast home.
The 39-year-old, of Eskdale Gardens in the city, was convicted of two counts of threats to kill and causing criminal damage.
Belfast Magistrates Court heard the ex-WBU welterweight title holder arrived at his estranged wife's Upper Springfield Road house last Christmas Eve.
Mrs Magee claimed in evidence that he was drunk and aggressive when he appeared in the kitchen as she prepared the next day's meal.
She told the court: “I asked him what he was doing in the house.
“It was just a lot of slander, mumble jumble, he was shouting back at me.
“He was going on why would I not let him have Christmas dinner in the family house with the kids.”
She said Magee warned her “I will f***ing kill you” if she phoned the police before taking her purse and leaving the house, knocking over decorations as he went.
Outside the property he kicked her Peugeot car, denting the door, the court heard.
Magee, known as The Terminator during a career which included 33 fights, returned the purse untouched on Christmas Day and was eventually allowed back in when he agreed to behave, his |ex-wife said.
Defence counsel Declan Quinn disputed her account, however, and claimed she had made up false allegations about his client |in the past.
The court heard the couple have been involved in a long-running cash dispute involving more than £40,000.
Mr Quinn put it to her: “What you were doing was financially bleeding him dry. That was |your aim.”
She replied: “Absolutely not.”
Giving evidence, Magee claimed he had been back staying with his ex-wife both before and after the incident.
He told the court the couple had even slept together on Christmas night.
“Me and Mary have been together the guts of 19 years, but at no time have I threatened to kill her,” he said.
“Why? She's the mother of my children. I love her.”
But convicting him on both counts, District Judge Harry |McKibbin said the taking of the purse clearly demonstrated there had been a falling out between |the pair.
He said: “Taking all these factors into account it is quite clear to me beyond all reasonable doubt that the injured party's version is absolutely true.”