Warning to man who hit pregnant wife
A man who admitted assaulting his wife twice when she was eight months' pregnant has been warned that if he ever uses violence against a woman again he will be jailed.
District Judge Barney McElholm handed Ian Steele (21) a four-month jail sentence, suspended for two years.
He also imposed a three-year restraining order on Steele, whose address was given as Rockdale Road in Cookstown.
The Magistrates Court in Londonderry was told yesterday that on March 1 Steele hit his pregnant wife on the right arm with a trainer.
It happened after he had complained that the living room of their home was untidy.
"He then grabbed and twisted her left breast with such force that it caused her immense pain," a prosecution solicitor said.
A defence solicitor said Steele was remorseful for his actions and now wanted to straighten things out in his own life.
"Things just got too much for him and the marriage is over," the solicitor said.
"He got married when aged 19 and became a father at the age of 20, and he has been unable to see his son since this incident."
Mr McElholm said that having read the papers in the case it was "absolutely clear this defendant is one of those young men who do not respect women as equals and he regarded his wife as someone who was there to wait upon him".
"But for the fact that he has no previous convictions involving this injured party I would have had no hesitation in sending him straight to jail," he said.
Mr McElholm said if Steele ever used violence against a woman again, he would go to prison.