A man who admitted punching and kicking his girlfriend over a three month period when she was pregnant with their child has been jailed for eight months.
In one of the assaults, Scott McElwee (24) struck his pregnant girlfriend in the stomach, Londonderry Magistrates Court heard.
McElwee, from Parkmore Drive in the Strathfoyle area of the city, pleaded guilty to three charges of assaulting his then girlfriend.
The first assault occurred on April 10 when the victim called at the Strathfoyle home of McElwee's sister. McElwee prevented the victim from leaving the house before locking the door and kicking and punching her to the face. He also pushed her down the stairs causing her to bang her head off the bottom step. The victim sustained facial injuries and bruising, and injuries to both forearms.
In the second assault, on May 2 in McElwee's house, the defendant again repeatedly kicked and punched the victim to the face and body. The third attack took place on June 19 by which stage the victim was 14 weeks' pregnant. Again the victim went to the Strathfoyle home of the defendant's sister to collect her belongings.
He punched her on the stomach and, when she ran to a nearby bus stop, McElwee chased after her. When a bus arrived he assaulted her by again punching her to the face and then ran away.
The prosecutor said this attack was recorded on the bus CCTV system. He said the victim was later treated in hospital for her injuries and medical checks were also carried out on her unborn baby.
A defence barrister described McElwee's behaviour as very serious and said the assaults took place in the context of a toxic relationship with the victim. The barrister said McElwee was drunk when he assaulted his pregnant girlfriend and he deeply regretted his actions.
District Judge Oonagh Mullan said McElwee had terrorised his victim over a three month period during which he had inflicted injuries on her.