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'Snarling' racist thug jailed for assault on women and children

By George Jackson

Published 11/08/2016

Cathal Joseph Ebbs (43), from Primrose Street in Londonderry, was jailed for eight months after he admitted assaulting the four victims by covering them with shards of glass
Cathal Joseph Ebbs (43), from Primrose Street in Londonderry, was jailed for eight months after he admitted assaulting the four victims by covering them with shards of glass

Two sisters broke down as a court heard how they and two young children were left traumatised when the former partner of one of the women — a relationship that ended almost a quarter-of-a-centruy ago — smashed the windscreen of their car with a brick.

Cathal Joseph Ebbs (43), from Primrose Street in Londonderry, was jailed for eight months after he admitted assaulting the four victims by covering them with shards of glass.

He also pleaded guilty to causing criminal damage to the car and disorderly behaviour at Derry Magistrates Court.

A prosecution barrister told District Judge Barney McElholm that the unprovoked attack took place outside a chemist’s shop on Spencer Road on April 15 of this year.

As Ebbs repeatedly smashed the brick against the front windscreen, driver’s window and car bonnet, he shouted racist obscenities at the two women and children.

“The four occupants of the car were terrified and the two children were screaming throughout the incident,” the barrister said.

“After smashing the driver’s window the defendant then put his head through the window and snarled at the occupants.”

After the incident Ebbs then walked the short distance to his home and when the police arrived minutes later he verbally abused them and repeated his racist abuse of the two women and children. He then showed the police the brick he’d used during the incident.

Following his arrest Ebbs made full admissions but showed no remorse and made further obscene comments about the two women, one of whom had ended her relationship with him 24 years ago.

A victim impact report stated that the two women and children had been traumatised during the incident and that as a result of it the seven-year-old child is now afraid to be left alone.

Defence barrister Stephen Chapman described Ebbs’ behaviour as totally unacceptable.

He said Ebbs, who had no relevant previous convictions, committed the offences after he’d failed to comply with instructions from his doctor to take prescription medication for his mental health issues.

Mr McElholm said a letter from Ebbs’ doctor stated that there was very little wrong with the defendant as long as he took his medication and stayed off non-prescribed drugs.

“This man’s behaviour was absolutely disgraceful. It is not right that this sort of unprovoked behaviour is perpetrated on a completely innocent family including two young children,” he said.

“Heaven only knows what emotional and psychological damage has been done to those two young children.

“This sort of behaviour can only be met with an immediate custodial offence. If I felt I could realistically give him more than eight months I would.”

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