Belfast Telegraph

'Bullying coward' who battered his ex-partner is jailed

By Michael Donnelly

A man who left his former partner "beaten, soiled and frightened'' after he throttled her in a terrifying attack has been jailed for 18 months.

Judge Piers Grant QC, told 26-year-old Gareth Cheevers the courts repeatedly made it clear they would not tolerate domestic violence by "bullying, cowardly men" on vulnerable women in their own homes.

The Downpatrick Crown Court judge, sitting in Belfast, said Cheevers' attack was not only "planned and premeditated" but was also "brutal and humiliating". He added while he accepted the physical injuries were modest, the psychological damage was high.

Cheevers, from Chesterbrook Crescent, Newtownards, pleaded guilty last month to making a threat to kill his former girlfriend and of assaulting her occasioning her actual bodily harm. Yesterday the court heard she had ended their relationship when he was jailed for assaulting a man, and although the relationship had not been violent, it was turbulent and troubled by his drinking.

On March 11, two weeks after his release from jail, Cheevers bombarded her with calls and text messages, in some of which he pleaded for her to give him money.

Cheevers told her that he had seen a picture of her on Facebook which "disgruntled'' him and then said: "I am going to f*****g kill you,'' adding that he was going to strangle her that night.

Mr Magee said she didn't initially believe him, but looked out of her window and "saw the defendant running down the hill outside her home like a raging bull'' before he came and "kicked the door in and grabbed her by the throat and dragged her into the living room''.

She "pleaded for her life'' as Cheevers started to "squeeze her tighter and tighter by the throat'' and at one stage, "passed out''. When she awoke, he initially apologised, but soon became aggressive again, threatening to "put your f*****g head through the television''.

Defence barrister Tom McCreanor said that Cheevers was "ashamed and regrettful about his behaviour''.

Cheevers will serve 18 months in prison, to be followed by 18 months on supervised licensed parole.

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