Belfast Telegraph

Ballymena man's assault on daughter was 'outrageous'

By Staff Reporter

A Ballymena man has been sentenced to six months in jail for assaulting his daughter and several other people in a drunken family dispute on July 12 last year.

A judge described Colin Turton's assault of his daughter, occasioning her actual bodily harm during the bust-up, as "outrageous".

Turton (50), of Tullygarley Road, and his partner Heather Ramsey (47), of Grange Avenue, appeared at Ballymena Magistrates Court yesterday.

The defendants, who both had previously clear records, had denied a number of offences, but after a previous court contest they were convicted of a number of charges, including the assault on Turton's daughter.

The full facts of the case were not outlined yesterday in court, where the couple appeared side by side in the dock for sentencing.

The extent of the injuries suffered by the injured parties was not revealed.

Defence barristers Chris Sherrard and Thomas McKeever said both defendants still maintained their innocence.

Mr McKeever claimed the incident was the "culmination of longstanding hostility".

He said his client Turton, a former civil servant, had "suffered harassment" and said there had even been a "disturbance" in the court building that day.

Mr Sherrard, for Ramsey, who had three part-time jobs, said the July 12 incident in 2016 was an "unfortunate situation where tempers were raised" and a number of people became involved in a "family dispute".

District Judge Peter King said previously at the conclusion of the contest he had made a number of remarks about the nature of the assaults.

Yesterday he added: "It is always deeply regrettable when a court has to decide on the fallout from family disputes."

The judge added assaults by parents upon their children were "beyond regrettable".

He said it was quite clear there was "bad blood" and a background and the incident was aggravated by alcohol.

He described Turton's assault on his daughter as "outrageous".

Turton was sentenced on 10 charges relating to five people - three females and two males.

He also made a threat to kill one of the females and damaged her necklace. The defendant also damaged one of the male's shirt and a necklace belonging to another male.

In total he faced two charges of assault occasioning actual bodily harm; four of common assault; three criminal damage charges and one of making a threat to kill.

Ramsey also caused actual bodily harm to Turton's daughter and another female and assaulted a male and another female.

Her four charges included two of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and two of common assault.

The two defendants were each sentenced to six months in jail but were released on their own bail of £750 pending appeal.

In the meantime they were ordered not to contact any of the injured parties in the case.

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