Thug who banged partner's head off floor jailed for a year
A young mother sustained horrific soft tissue injuries in a domestic attack carried out in the presence of her young daughter, a court has heard.
The attack by Ryan Marks in May last year left the woman requiring hospital treatment and came just two months after he broke her collarbone, Crown counsel Kate McKay told Belfast Crown Court.
Sending Marks to prison for the two assaults on the woman, Judge David McFarland told him: "You and others' need to release this type of violence, at this level, will be punished properly and appropriately."
As well as being handed a two-year sentence - split between a year behind bars and a year on licence after being released - Marks was also given a five-year restraining order.
The 22-year-old, from Unity Street in Carrick, initially denied two counts of causing his then partner grievous bodily harm in March and May last year, but later admitted his guilt.
Mrs McKay said that on the evening of May 2, the defendant called the ambulance service and told them that his partner had come home from a night out covered in bruises.
Marks said she believed she had been attacked, but also claimed she couldn't remember anything about it.
The ambulance service contacted the PSNI, and when the victim was spoken to by police in hospital, they noted she had extensive bruising. She was also treated for swelling to her brain.
She said she was unaware how she had sustained the injuries the evening before, but told how she remembered leaving the defendant's mother's house after drinking wine.
At this stage, she told police her boyfriend had gone home before her and, when she arrived home, she had wounds but didn't know how she had gotten them.
Marks was spoken to by police, who noted that he had minor injuries, including swelling to his hand.
He was arrested the following day on suspicion on assaulting his partner, which he initially denied.
However, when police spoke to the woman's sister, it emerged that Marks had attacked her.
It transpired he had dragged her off the sofa and repeatedly banged her head off the floor, all in the presence of their baby daughter.
As well as attacking and hospitalising her on this occasion, the defendant had beaten her once before, leaving her with a broken collarbone.
During that attack, Marks lifted and threw her against a wall in their bedroom after they had a row on a night out.
When she tried to scream for help, the defendant held his hand over her mouth and pushed her onto the bed, Mrs McKay told the court.
The woman went to hospital the next morning and was treated for a broken collarbone and suspected fractured cheek.
Defence barrister Taylor Campbell said his client's "dark side and drug habit" were at the root of his offending.
He argued Marks had had an "excellent" work record since leaving school, came from a supportive and stable family and only started using drugs after an accident at work.
The barrister claimed his client's relationship with the victim "was in many ways a happy one" that was ultimately blighted by his drug habit.