Jailed Antrim man an 'absolute danger' to women, says judge
A County Antrim man described as an "absolute danger" to women was given a nine-month prison sentence yesterday for assaulting his girlfriend when she confronted him about text messages from another female.
Gary Alan McKendry (24), of Heronshaw, Bushmills, pleaded guilty to assaulting his then partner during an incident in the bedroom in the early hours of April 1 after a night out in Ballymoney.
A prosecutor told Coleraine Magistrates Court that the girlfriend saw a text message from another woman on McKendry's mobile phone and the defendant then pushed her violently off a bed, causing her to hit her head on a door frame.
The defendant told police he had been struck with the phone by his girlfriend as he slept and claimed the assault was a "split-second reaction" while waking up.
Defence barrister Michael Smyth said it was accepted that McKendry's girlfriend confronted his client and struck him with the phone as he slept, adding that the assault by the defendant was an "over-reaction".
District Judge Liam McNally said it was the fourth time McKendry had appeared in court for assaulting his partners and on two occasions he had been given jail terms but the Appeal Court "gave him a chance".
The judge noted McKendry was in breach of a suspended sentence for the latest assault.
He said: "In my view you are an absolute danger to any female who is in your company".
Judge McNally activated a suspended four-month jail term and added on five months for the new offence, making a total of nine months in prison.
He also imposed a three-year restraining order banning the defendant from contacting, harassing or pestering the victim.
McKendry is to appeal the sentence. Freeing him on £500 bail, Judge McNally asked if he was in a relationship at the moment and Mr Smyth said the defendant was not. The judge ordered McKendry not to enter into a relationship with a woman without disclosing to her his criminal record for assaulting females.