A 54-year-old man from the Shankill area of Belfast has been jailed for breaking into the home of another man and battering him with a golf umbrella.
Belfast Crown Court heard that the two men were involved in a “love triangle” as they had both been involved in a relationship with the same woman — but not at the same time.
William McClean was handed an 18-month sentence by Her Honour Judge McCaffrey after he pleaded guilty to a charge of aggravated burglary with intent to do grievous bodily harm. He broke into the other man’s flat on May 1 last year armed with an umbrella.
McClean, from Hopewell Crescent, was told he will spend nine months of his sentence in prison, with the remaining nine months spent on supervised licence.
He was also ordered, as part of his licence, to participate in the Probation Board’s Thinking Skills Programme.
Prior to sentencing, Crown prosecutor Gareth Purvis told the court that the incident occurred at around 1.30pm, when McClean broke into a flat at Coniston Close in the Shankill area.
The 59-year-old occupant was asleep but was woken by the sound of breaking glass and his front door being kicked in.
The occupant was then confronted by McClean in the hallway of the flat and was hit over the head with a golf umbrella being brandished by the intruder. The occupant was also punched several times around the face and head.
Mr Purvis said a “grappling match” then ensued between the two men, who knew each other as they had both dated the same woman.
The occupant was able to push McClean back down the hallway, but as the pair continued to struggle outside the flat, the occupant fell down some stairs.
The incident came to a halt when a neighbour intervened and separated the two.
Later that day, the occupant attended the A&E department at the Mater Hospital and was treated for cuts and bruises to his face which included six stitches.
Defence barrister Jonny Connolly said last May’s incident was linked to a “love triangle”, branding McClean “his own worst enemy.”
Pointing out that at 54 his client was “old enough to know better”, Mr Connolly said McClean had difficulties both with alcohol and with “relationships he shouldn’t be in”.
Regarding the incident itself, Mr Connolly said: “This was an attack on someone in their own home. It was a mean offence and it must have been very distressing for him.”
The defence barrister said it was over quite quickly and was carried out when McClean was “clearly under the influence”.