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Man who evaded PSNI for 22 months jailed for offences after domestic incident

By Ashleigh McDonald

A man who evaded the PSNI for 22 months was handed an 18-month sentence on Friday for a litany of offences arising from a domestic incident.

Jailing Jonathan Turley, Belfast Recorder Judge David McFarland said: "The courts will not tolerate using violence and threats in the aftermath of, or indeed during, a domestic relationship."

The 36-year old, whose address on the court papers was given as 'none', was arrested in Tipperary earlier this year after evading the PSNI for 22 months.

He admitted a series of charges dating back to November and December 2014 which were set against a domestic backdrop, including several counts of assaulting his former partner, criminal damage, threats to damage property, dangerous driving and possessing an offensive weapon.

Turley was handed an 18-month sentence and was informed he will serve half of it in prison, followed by nine months on licence when he is released.

Turley's barrister Joe Brolly said the offences were borne out of "desperation" at his client not being able to see or have any contact with his son.

Prior to Judge McFarland's sentencing, Belfast Crown Court heard that on November 20, 2014, Turley assaulted his former partner in Ardoyne and damaged the window of a bakery in the area.

On December 10 that year, Turley was seen outside her home at around 6am. Prosecuting barrister Philip Henry told the court: "When someone else come to the doorway, he used the opportunity to make his way into the house."

Once inside, Turley began shouting about his lack of contact with his nine-year old son before pushing her onto a sofa. His mood was described as "angry and aggressive". At one stage he also threatened to burn down her home.

Mr Henry said he calmed down and managed to persuade his ex-partner to get into his car. Once in the vehicle, Turley drove from Ardoyne to Ballymena, where he was observed by police to be driving in a dangerous manner.

When the vehicle was stopped and searched, officers found a claw hammer and CS spray.

The prosecutor said Turley had "relevant" convictions on his criminal record, adding there was a domestic history between Turley and the woman, and that these incidents caused her "considerable distress."

Defence barrister Joe Brolly said that since December 2014 there had been no contact between Turley and his former partner.

Mr Brolly said Turley had moved to Tipperary, was making a new life for himself there when he was arrested in connection with the incidents and that "he will go back to Tipperary as soon as he has served his sentence."

The defence barrister described the situation between his client and his ex at the time as "fraught", saying the context was "a father desperate to see his son."

Mr Brolly also revealed that in the two and a half years that has lapsed, there has still been no contact between father and son.

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