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Ex-world boxing champ Eamonn Magee sentenced to four months in jail for beating up a woman in Belfast


Former WBU title holder Eamonn Magee

Former WBU title holder Eamonn Magee

Former WBU title holder Eamonn Magee

Former world boxing champion Eamonn Magee was sentenced to four months in jail on Monday for beating up a woman in a north Belfast flat.

A judge told the 43-year-old ex-fighter that his "nasty" attack on a vulnerable victim warranted the prison term.

But Magee was granted bail pending a planned appeal against the assault conviction.

Belfast Magistrates' Court had heard he dragged Louise Mullan to the ground by her hair before kicking and hitting her.

The nursing home worker said she was subjected to a no-warning attack during a late-night drinking session at a friend's apartment in July last year.

Denying the charge, the defendant instead claimed she subjected him to a barrage of up to ten punches he likened to legendary US middleweight Marvin Hagler.

Magee, known as The Terminator during a professional career which saw him capture the WBU welterweight belt, had left a bar with Mrs Mullan and her boyfriend at closing time to go back to a mutual friend's flat in the Oldpark area.

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She told the court they had some drinks before Magee targeted her as she sat on a kitchen bench.

"All of a sudden Eamonn just turned into somebody else, grabbed me by the hair and trailed me to the ground," she said at last month's contested hearing.

"He was kicking and hitting me, holding me on the ground. I was trying my best to swing back to get him off me."

According to her account the attack lasted for up to two minutes before Magee got up and ran out the door.

She said she was left with rib and leg injuries, forcing her to take unpaid leave from her job.

Magee, of Eskdale Gardens in Belfast, and his legal team claimed Mrs Mullan had been "a bit lairy" and struck him first, knowing his status as a former world champion boxer.

The boxer said she suddenly hit him with a right-left-right combination as he tried to restrain her.

She landed further strikes after backing into and starting to slide down a wall, he claimed.

"That girl can fight, as she went down she was punching me something shocking. She can fight like a man," he told the court.

"My ribs were the worst, she was punching me, she was (Marvin) Hagler."

In a professional career spanning 33 fights Magee also enjoyed Commonwealth success.

He repeatedly denied prosecution assertions that the violence came from him.

"If I had hit that girl I would have knocked her out, and it would only be one punch," he insisted.

Following his conviction, however, he returned to court on Monday to be sentenced.

Defence counsel Sean O'Hare confirmed his client maintains that he acted in self-defence.

In a plea for leniency, Mr O'Hare stressed Magee's status as a family man and continued involvement in the boxing world.

The barrister said: "He's also making a name for himself training younger boxers. That's given him a positive factor in his life."

But District Judge Peter King told the defendant he was entitled to no credit for any post-conviction remorse because he still protests his innocence.

He said: "This was a nasty assault against a vulnerable individual.

"The description of how you say you had to defend yourself from assault from your victim strikes me as nonsensical."

Standing in the dock, Magee appeared shocked as he was handed a four-month prison term and led to the cells.

Mr O'Hare then secured his release on £250 bail pending the appeal hearing.

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