Probation for man who attacked girlfriend while car stopped at traffic lights
A man who attacked his ex-partner while they were stopped at traffic lights claims he had been bitten in the face, a court heard today.
Christopher Goodman, 34, was given 12 months probation for what his lawyer described as a "momentary lapse of control".
Belfast Magistrates' Court was told a member of the public witnessed the assault in a car stopped on the city's Antrim Road on March 7 this year.
Police inquiries identified the victim as being the driver of the Citroen vehicle.
Goodman, of Caingorm Crescent in Netownabbey, Co Antrim, was her passenger and boyfriend at the time.
She alleged that while in the car together he grabbed and squeezed her face, as well as shaking her head.
Defence barrister Mark O'Hara said his client regrets losing his temper and committing the common assault.
According to counsel the couple had rowed in the hours leading up the incident, but have now ended their "toxic" relationship.
"He asserts that she assaulted him on several occasions, biting him on the face more than once," Mr O'Hara submitted.
"He accepts that it was a momentary lapse of control (by him)."
With no evidence to back Goodman's bite claims, District Judge Liam McNally told him: "This appears to have been a fairly violent attack on your girlfriend at the time.
"The member of the public who reported it to police is to be commended."
But based on an assessment of the defendant's remorse, Mr McNally decided not to impose any custody.
Instead, he ordered Goodman to complete one year's probation, with any associated programme of work.
Belfast Telegraph Digital