Sunday Life

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'He hit me because he loved me'

A sister of Glasgow Rangers and Northern Ireland striker Kyle Lafferty sobbed in front of police officers after being attacked by her boyfriend following a booze-fuelled row.

But Fermanagh woman Sonia Lafferty, who suffered injuries to her face and arm in the attack, refused to make a formal complaint against 30-year-old Gareth Clarke, telling officers “he hit me because he loved me.”

Sonia’s remarks were last week described as “disturbing” by a judge who said Clarke, an ex-GAA player, deserved to go jail for the attack on his girlfriend.

Although Miss Lafferty refused to make a formal complaint, the Public Prosecution Service pressed ahead with the case at Fermanagh Magistrate’s Court, where shamed Clarke pleaded guilty to assaulting her. District Judge Liam McNally said Clarke deserved to go to jail for the assault but he said he took into account that the couple were now back together.

Clarke was put on probation for two years on condition he attends counselling on domestic abuse.

Outlining the case, a prosecutor said police were called to a domestic incident in Fermanagh at around 1.35am on Sunday, March 13.

Sonia Lafferty was crying and told police, who noticed injuries to her face and right arm, that her boyfriend had assaulted her. She declined to make a formal complaint.

For the full story, see this week's Sunday Life.

Belfast Telegraph