Belfast Telegraph

Suspended jail term for reality star who hit former partner

By Pat Hurst

Reality TV star Jeremy McConnell has been spared jail after assaulting his ex-girlfriend, Stephanie Davis.

Former Hollyoaks star Miss Davis said McConnell had also threatened to throw acid in her face during the drink and drug-fuelled bust-up at her home in Rainhill, Merseyside, on March 10.

McConnell, from Swords in the Republic of Ireland, met his former partner when they appeared together on Celebrity Big Brother.

He had denied the attack, branding her a "blatant liar", but was convicted of assaulting Miss Davis, mother of his child, during a trial this week at Liverpool Magistrates' Court.

Yesterday, he was sentenced to 20 weeks, suspended for 12 months, and 200 hours of community service.

During the trial, the judge was shown photographs of a bruise that Miss Davies said was caused by McConnell biting her arm, as well as extensive bruises to her legs and body.

The defendant called her a "fat slag" during the domestic abuse, the court heard.

Passing sentence, District Judge Wendy Lloyd told McConnell he had shown no remorse and attacked his ex as she held their baby in her arms after he had taken alcohol and cocaine.

She told him: "If you get yourself into such a state then you have to accept responsibility for it. The most important part is you are a young man of 27 of previous good character."

Judge Lloyd also imposed a restraining order on McConnell for three years, banning him from contacting Miss Davis except through intermediaries and for the purpose of contact with their child.

He was also given four weeks jail, suspended for 12 months, to run concurrently with his 20-week sentence, after pleading guilty at an earlier hearing to criminal damage to her patio doors and was ordered to pay £1,000 in court costs, £1,000 in compensation to Miss Davis and a victim's surchage of £115.

James Morris, counsel for McConnell, told the court the Dubliner's tough upbringing and a series of personal family tragedies had left him with "demons".

Mr Morris said: "It's extremely sad when relationships break down. It's fair to say this was a volatile relationship where accusations of infidelity reared their ugly heads on a regular basis.

"Mr McConnell had a difficult upbringing in Dublin. He lost his mother at the age of 15, and in the same year, a brother and sister. His father had to bring up family on his own."

"Mr McConnell sadly lost his father this year and attended his father's funeral with Miss Davis, three days prior to this incident and was in a very low frame of mind in the days leading up to this incident."

Mr Morris said the defendant had attended a private rehab clinic to be treated for "chemical dependency" and was now free of cocaine use.

In a victim impact statement read to the court, Miss Davis, who was not present, said: "This incident has made me feel a nervous wreck. Every time I hear a loud noise I panic."

The court heard after writing the statement the couple had briefly reconciled, but that the relationship had since broken down again.

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