Victim of ‘cowardly’ assault flees witness box as she’s quizzed
A woman fled the witness box in Dungannon Magistrates Court in distress yesterday after a lawyer called her evidence in a domestic violence case "a fairytale".
Laurence Paul Creaney (31) from Woodside Green, Portadown, was jailed for five months for assault and had a restraining order imposed on him.
Such was her fear of Creaney, his victim gave evidence from behind a screen during a contested case in Dungannon.
They were in a relationship which ended with the attack on August 13, 2018.
She described being out with friends the previous evening, during which Creaney sent texts, wanting to come to her Moy home, most of which she ignored.
Later she heard Creaney "shouting and roaring" outside, and opened the door but noted that "he was on something, but he wouldn't tell me what". Concerned, the victim left the house, but Creaney followed.
"He said he would burn my house down with me in it," she said. "He called me a Prod b*****d and punched me in the nose. He told me to watch myself, then ran away."
The victim suffered black eyes, and a bruised and swollen nose.
Under cross-examination she accepted there was "arguing back and forth by text" beforehand, but nothing to cause fear.
A defence solicitor said: "My client wasn't at your house. Are you embellishing your story? It's a fairytale." At this, the victim broke down and dashed out, saying: "I can't cope with this".
District Judge Steven Keown allowed some time before the victim returned and continued.
In his evidence, Creaney claimed his ex-partner was deluded, maintaining he was drinking with his sister and her friends.
He said: "I only have a SIM card so I was using my sister's phone. We were taking photos. I jumped in with a few birds. Some went on Snapchat. My SIM was bombarded with stuff from her. Next day the cops pulled me out of bed."
He accepted calling the victim a whore in a message but as to an assault, insisted: "It's all made up. It's a whitewash."
However, the judge said that the victim had given "clear, compelling evidence".
"I have no doubt whatsoever she was assaulted. This was a cowardly and malicious attack on a vulnerable female in her own home," the judge added.