Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 23 July 2014

Victim's plea saves face-biting assault man from jail term

A man who bit his ex-partner’s face and pulled out her hair during a drink-fuelled assault has been spared prison after his victim wrote a letter to the court pleading for leniency.

Billy Allen (34) had his six-month prison sentence suspended for three years after his victim said “she didn’t want anything bad to happen to him”.

The court heard his ex-wife had also provided a character reference.

Allen, from Fairfield Glen in Bangor, appeared before Ards Magistrates Court yesterday accused of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

The accused, who was dressed in a dark suit and light yellow shirt and tie, did not speak during the hearing.

The court was told police had been called to an address in the Cannyreagh Road area of Donaghadee on March 27 by the woman, who reported she had been assaulted.

She had been punched in the face, twice around her mouth, and had a clump of hair pulled from her head. Allen bit the woman twice on her forehead, around her eye and her left hand.

When police arrived, they found Allen intoxicated. He was arrested and brought in for questioning.

Allen admitted the assault, claiming it was fuelled by alcohol. Defence barrister Chris Holmes told the court that drink was a “major factor”, adding relations between the pair had been “clearly volatile”.

Mr Holmes said the injured party had sent a letter asking for the court to be lenient with Allen.

While she didn’t condone the attack, the woman wrote that she didn’t want anything bad to happen to him. The solicitor said it was likely that couple would get back together in the near future.

He added that the attack had been “completely and totally out of character” for his client.

District judge Mark Hamill described the incident as a “very violent domestic assault” and an “extremely serious charge”.

The judge said that he was concerned about protecting women.

“This had better be a one-off,” he added.

Judge Hamill handed Allen a six-month sentence, suspended for three years, ordering him to pay £1,200 compensation to his victim.

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