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Ballymena man who held Samurai sword at partner's throat handed suspended sentence

By Nevin Farrell

A Ballymena man told his partner she better "sleep with one eye open" before he burst into her house and caused injuries to her neck with a Samurai Sword, Ballymena Magistrates Court was told.

Steven William Clarke (50), of Dunclug Gardens, attacked the woman at her home in the town's Shanlieve estate last summer after telling her that when he arrived there was "going to be fun".

A prosecutor said the woman had been in a three year relationship with Clarke and after they had an argument the previous day about the defendant's drinking the woman went back to her own house.

The prosecutor said there was a cycle of Clarke drinking too much and then apologising.

On the day in question the woman had received texts from him apologising again but when she did not respond the messages became "abusive".

The prosecution lawyer said Clarke told the woman she should sleep with one eye open as he was "not that far away".

And he said she "might need someone bigger than me with you" when he arrived at her house.

Later, the woman heard banging at her home which was Clarke "breaking a door down" and he ran at her armed with a Samurai Sword and held it at her neck and said he had "eight boys" outside.

The prosecutor said the woman received injuries to her neck.

Clarke was in court for sentencing on six charges - aggravated burglary with intent to cause grievous bodily harm; common assault; threats to kill; criminal damage to a door and improper use of a public electronic communications network.

Defence barrister Stephen Law said that immediately after sobering up Clarke engaged with his GP; had not taken alcohol since and had not troubled the police since the incident last July.

Mr Law said Clarke had an insight into how "intolerable" he was with alcohol taken and that he had terrorised the woman.

District Judge Peter King told Clarke he had "inflicted terror" on the woman and imposed a seven months jail term, suspended for two years, along with an anti-harassment Order.

He warned Clarke that "if there is any hint of causing annoyance" to the woman again he would go to prison.

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