A MAN who threatened to have his partner shot after a row at a Fermanagh wedding has been given 12 months probation.
Sean McCartney (40) of Garnet Close, Castlederg appeared at Enniskillen Magistrates Court on Monday where he pleaded guilty to common assault on his former partner Amanda Sweeney at the Manor House Hotel on October 30 last year.
The court heard Ms Sweeney and McCartney, who had been in a relationship for three years, had been at a wedding in the hotel when the defendant, who had been drinking since midday, became drunk and abusive. When police arrived at Ms Sweeney’s hotel room she was emotional and appeared fearful.
She told the officers McCartney had left the function then returned on two occasions. On the second occasion, McCartney was shouting and asked Ms Sweeney for his phone. She said he was holding a phone charger at the time and she was fearful he was going to hit her, but he didn’t.
McCartney then followed Ms Sweeney, who submitted a victim impact statement to the court, to her room and began banging on her door. Ms Sweeney, who had brought a security man with her, then locked her door. McCartney then shouted at her, saying she had 10 seconds then five seconds to open the door or else he would “have her and her friend shot.”
McCartney, who had originally contested the charge and only changed his plea to guilty on the day of his hearing, spent over nine weeks in prison following the incident after breaching his bail by contacting Ms Sweeney via text message on two occasions, and showing up at her home on another occasion.
Defence solicitor Canice McManus said McCartney was “industrious and hard working” and was in full-time employment. Mr McManus explained that Ms Sweeney was “vulnerable” and had been in a previous abusive relationship before becoming involved with McCartney, and had “already undergone degrees of stress with others.”
Mr McManus said while he had sympathy for Ms Sweeney, not all her stress “could be laid at the feet” of McCartney. He added McCartney, who the court heard was sorry and remorseful for what had happened, had “already effectively served a sentence” given the length of time he had spent in prison on remand.
District Judge Terrence Dunlop sentenced McCartney to 12 months probation, on the condition he comply with any instructions or programme of work set out for him by probation services. Judge Dunlop also granted a restraining order barring him from contacting Ms Sweeney for one year.
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Posted: 2:00 pm April 24, 2016