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Belfast man (24) who used ‘gratuitous violence’ against partner in front of her child avoids jail


Belfast Crown Court

Belfast Crown Court

Belfast Crown Court

A Belfast man who assaulted his partner in front of her four-year-old daughter avoided being sent to jail today .

Instead of imposing an immediate jail term on Conor Gallagher at Belfast Crown Court, Judge Richard Greene QC made the 24-year-old the subject of an 18-month probation order.

Gallagher, from Flax Street in Belfast, admitted assaulting his now former partner and damaging items in her Suffolk home on April 7, last year.

On that date, Gallagher was looking after the youngster and when his partner returned home, he launched a drunken attack on her in front of the child.

Crown prosecutor Gareth Purvis said that once inside her flat, the woman tried to retrieve her daughter — but she was blocked from doing so by Gallagher who then grabbed her by her t-shirt, placed his hands around her throat and pushed her against a wall.

Gallagher proceeded to bang her head off the wall several times, and after being asked to stop by both mother and daughter, he let the woman go.

He then lifted a TV off the wall and smashed it before damaging other items in the flat including a microwave and kettle.

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The child was able to run to neighbours who attended the scene and who removed Gallagher from the flat.

The injured woman attended the A&E department in the Royal Victoria Hospital where she was treated for a concussion.

Mr Purvis said that when Gallagher was arrested and interviewed, he admitted four charges including assault occasioning actual bodily harm and criminal damage.

He also confirmed that Gallagher had no previous criminal convictions.

Defence barrister Michael Boyd said his client acknowledged this was a “distressing and serious incident” and one for which he was “deeply shamed and deeply sorry.”

Revealing Gallagher's actions on the day were fuelled by alcohol and feelings of jealousy, Mr Boyd said that while this was “no excuse”, there were “things going on in the background.”

Mr Boyd said that since the incident, Gallagher has taken steps to address his issues — including alcohol — and he told Judge Greene “this is the last time he will find himself in this position.”

The Judge addressed Gallagher and branded his behaviour — and the “gratuitous violence” he subjected his partner to in front of her young child — as “outrageous.”

He said he has also taken into consideration Gallagher's clear criminal record, absence of offending since, and the probation report which recommended that Gallagher would benefit from a period of supervision.

Judge Greene imposed an 18-month probation order, told Gallagher to attend any programmes designed to address his offending behaviour - and warned that any breach would lead to prison.

A two-year restraining order was also imposed which bans Gallagher from entering the Suffolk area of Belfast or approaching or contacting his former partner.

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