Man claims attack on his ‘ex’ was self-defence

Enniskillen courthouse

AN Enniskillen man has been found guilty of assaulting his ex-partner after a day in the pub on St Patrick’s Day.
Noel Mullane (46) of Willowvale, Enniskillen appeared at Enniskillen Magistrates Court on Wednesday charged with making threats to kill and two counts of common assault.
On March 17th 2018, Mullane, the victim and her family were at the Devenish Bar in Enniskillen watching sport on the TV and consuming alcohol.
The victim claimed Mullane made sectarian remarks towards her family, which she initially brushed off but they moved to the Cornerstone Bar where the defendant got angry, making comments and calling her children ‘English retards.’
The victim admitted she got annoyed and threw a drink around the defendant, who walked away but returned to the table and punched the victim on her left cheek. The victim said she then ordered a taxi and went to wait at a shop and returned to the house.
She said when the defendant returned to the house he went into the kitchen and began ‘boxing’ her around the head with both of his fists, and calling her an English c**t.
She said he held a knife to her throat and told her he was going to kill her. She thought he was going to do it and began pleading and begging with the defendant.
She added she crawled out of the kitchen, and a bottle was flung at her which just missed her before she reached the front door to her son’s house.
She suffered bruising to her left arm, left cheek and had bruises on her stomach, and she went to her GP after the incident.
Defence solicitor Clive Neville questioned how much the victim had to drink. She said six or seven rum and cokes. Mr Neville then suggested she was angry with the defendant, threw a drink at him and then struck him, which she denied.
Mr Neville suggested Mullane went into the kitchen to wash his hands and face, and the victim attacked him with a chair, before suggesting their neighbour was present and intervened and pulled the chair from her, which she denied.
When he later called to the police station, as requested, Mullane was arrested and gave a no comment interview.
The defendant gave evidence that he had been dancing with others in the pub and when he returned to the table, the victim punched him across the face. He admitted to reacting and hitting her, and claimed it was self defence.
He described the attack at the house saying the victim lifted a chair and attempted to assault him with it, and that there was a struggle, and the victim got on top of him and he forced his leg up on her stomach to stop her from scraping his face.
The court was also shown images of the woman’s injuries, which the defence claimed were inconsistent with the attack she described.
District judge Michael Ranaghan said it was clear both parties had consumed alcohol, but the victim’s account was consistent with the body-worn footage. He added that this was the first time that Mullane’s version of events had come to light, and only in court did he raise it as self defence.
Judge Ranaghan added that he took the victim’s reading as what happened, and said he believed that the defendant did as alleged in both counts.
He then ordered a pre-sentence report and the case is due back in court on July 23rd.

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