An alcoholic who stabbed her ex-partner after he "took a notion" to visit her at 3.30am has walked free from court with a suspended jail sentence.
Judge Patrick Lynch QC warned Sharon Buick last October that she faced a certain jail sentence if she fell off the teetotal wagon. On Friday, he imposed a 30-month jail sentence which he suspended for three years.
The judge told Buick despite her offence "clearly" warranting a jail sentence, he was taking "what maybe regarded as an exceptionally lenient attitude" having heard how the 54-year-old has abstained from alcohol, attends AA and is being seen by addiction services.
"The expectations of the court have been met," he said.
Buick, originally from Lurgan but now with an address at Stewarts Road in Annalong, had been charged with trying to kill Philip McParland but that was "left on the books" when the mother and grandmother pleaded guilty to the lesser offence of wounding.
A prosecutor said while there was a somewhat confused picture as to how 50-year-old Mr McParland suffered two stab wounds, he told Judge Lynch there were also a number of "indisputable facts."
Buick made a 999 call just before 6am on August 1, 2018, asking for an ambulance, telling the operator: "I have split him up. If he keeps moving I'll cut his f****** head off".
Police officers who attended found Mr McParland lying unconscious on the living room floor with two blood-stained knives close by.
Buick was arrested and told police she had been on a two-day drinking binge and was asleep in bed when her dog woke her up by barking.
When she went downstairs there was food cooking in the oven and Mr McParland's ID was on the table. She claimed that in fear she armed herself with two knives and saw "feet below the curtain" and it was about then she stabbed the victim.
Mr McParland claimed he "took a notion" of visiting his ex in the early hours and when he arrived with a bottle he was invited in. He described how the pair had drank almost the entire bottle when an argument ensued and Buick went into the kitchen, armed herself with the knives and stabbed him.