Belfast Telegraph

Former trainee solicitor Kevin McDaid faces jail for months of assaults on his girlfriend

Former apprentice solicitor Kevin McDaid
Former apprentice solicitor Kevin McDaid

By George Jackson

An ex-apprentice solicitor who admitted subjecting his now former girlfriend to a series of violent assaults over a six-month period was told yesterday to prepare himself for a lengthy period of imprisonment.

Judge Philip Babington made the comment at the Crown Court in Londonderry during a plea and sentencing hearing for Kevin McDaid (32), who is from Derry but has been living at a bail address at Hillview in Buncrana, Co Donegal.

McDaid pleaded guilty to 13 charges relating to his violent conduct against his former girlfriend. He committed the offences on various dates between May and November of 2017.

Following yesterday's hearing, the defendant was remanded in custody. He will be sentenced next Thursday.

Members of the victim's family were in court when a prosecution barrister outlined the series of violent assaults committed by McDaid.

The barrister said on one occasion, during what was described as a toxic and alcohol-fuelled relationship, the defendant grabbed his girlfriend by the throat and spat in her face.

On another occasion, after McDaid and his victim attended a Christening, they had another heated argument during which he pulled her off a sofa by the hair and then punched and kicked her.

During separate assaults, McDaid hit her on the head with a mobile phone, struck her on the legs with a length of wire and stamped on her chest.

Following another assault, He locked his victim in the bathroom for up to half an hour and only released her after she shouted out of their bathroom window for help.

After another assault, the victim ran onto the street, with the defendant running after her while shouting, "I am going to f****** kill you".

A neighbour came to the victim's assistance and said to McDaid, "Have some respect, this is a girl". McDaid then punched him on the nose.

The prosecution barrister said McDaid had a record that included indecent behaviour, disorderly behaviour and assault.

"This offending represents a catalogue of assaults, some obviously more serious than others," he added.

"It is clear they cross the custody threshold and that they have had a serious effect on the complainant.

"In accordance with her victim impact report, she is still suffering the effects to this day."

Defence barrister Michael McAleer said at the outset the defendant wished to apologise to his victim.

"Irrespective of what this court does to him, and he is aware of the likely outcome, he has lost his career, which was at an advanced stage of study, to become a solicitor," he said.

"He lost his job as a direct result of his court appearances and he will now not be admitted to the roll of solicitors.

"It was a toxic relationship and it is unfortunate that one or other of the parties did not realise that at an early stage."

Judge Babington said he would not accept any suggestion that the victim was a contributory party to the violence.

"In my court, there is no excuse for a man to lift his hand to a woman. In every relationship there are difficulties at times, but I do not accept casting some of the responsibilities on to the complainant", he said.

Mr McAleer said McDaid accepted he was at fault.

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