Belfast Telegraph

Man jailed for six-day abuse of fellow mental health patient partner

By Nevin Farrell

A Coleraine man who met his partner when they were both in-patients at a psychiatric hospital "systematically" subjected the woman to a six-day horror ordeal that started on Halloween last year.

Robert Swan (22), of Maple Drive, appeared at Coleraine Magistrates Court yesterday where he was jailed for four months.

Swan had previously contested the case but was found guilty of three counts of assaulting the woman; a charge of making threats to kill her and damaging an ornament belonging to the woman.

District Judge Rosalie Prytherch was told he was still not accepting there had been violence.

She said they were "very concerning" assaults which left the woman with bruising and the defendant's very threatening behaviour had been "totally unacceptable".

As well as the jail term, Swan was made the subject of a three year restraining order.

A prosecutor said there had been "systematic" abuse of the woman after Swan accused her of "cheating".

The ordeal included verbal abuse, slapping; pinning her down; pulling her hair; threatening to kill her; and tying a cable around her neck.

The prosecutor said Swan also used a hammer to intimidate his partner and called her a "w**** and a s***" as well as "making her shout this out aloud".

Swan also forced his partner to strip naked and made her go down to the doorstep of a house.

Defence barrister Francis Rafferty said his client had a previously clear record and it was obvious Swan had mental health difficulties and had called the medical services himself for assistance after the woman's torment ended.

Mr Rafferty said Swan had been getting help with the Community Mental Health Team but had been previously 'sectioned' and spent time in Holywell Hospital in Antrim.

He said Swan and the injured party met each other as in-patients in the hospital and he said "the relationship was not built on a particularly stable foundation".

The barrister said Swan had expressed remorse and accepts he "behaved inappropriately".

Mr Rafferty said Swan had not struck the woman with a hammer but instead had hit a bed with the tool.

He said his client was not accepting he acted violently but he accepted he had not behaved incorrectly "when the relationship was ending".

Swan was released on his own bail of £350 pending appeal.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph