Man lifted wife's car with forklift - while she was inside
A Northern Ireland man who used a forklift truck to lift his estranged wife’s car off the ground while she was inside has been hit with a three-month jail sentence.
Nigel Stuart Cousins, 45, was handed the prison term for what a district judge labelled a “scandalous manifestation of domestic violence”.
The court heard the woman “screamed and asked to be put down” after Cousins used the forklift to raise her car during a row at his place of work, Watson Engineering in Moneyreagh, Co Down.
Cousins walked free from Ards Magistrates Court after being granted bail of £500 pending appeal.
The Prosecution said the defendant’s wife had driven their son to the business’s yard where he worked for his dad on May 11.
While she was waiting in the car, her husband got into a forklift truck and placed the forks under her Hyundai car and pushed it against a wall, with her still inside.
The Prosecution said Cousins raised the Hyundai to a level “as high as he was”. The woman “screamed and asked to be put down” which he did “from the height she was at”.
A solicitor for Cousins said the couple had been going through a very contentious break-up.
He said that after parking in the yard, the woman had refused to move her car and Cousins had resorted to using the forklift to move her.
He said his client maintained that he had only raised her car two inches off the ground “not to harm her” and denied dropping her car from a height.
Cousins had immediately paid for the damage caused to her car and had spent a night in a police cell as a result of his actions.
Imprisoning Cousins for dangerous driving and criminal damage, District Judge Gerry Trainer said he had “a record that shows your propensity for violence”.
He said Cousins record showed an assault in 2009, an assault on a teenage boy, as well as dangerous driving.
The judge added: “That’s who you are and what you are is far from a man of good character, but what you did to your wife is a scandalous manifestation of domestic violence at the very highest level.”
He said Cousins had put his wife into a situation in which she was left “defenceless”.
He added: “What you don’t understand is that this court will not entertain bullying because that’s what you are.”
Cousins, whose address was given as Watson Engineering, Hillsborough Road, Moneyreagh, was disqualified from driving for three years for dangerous driving and a three-year restraining order was also imposed.
On appeal on Sept 3 Mr Cousins' jail sentence was reduced to six weeks.