Lochside Garage

Prison sentence assaulting wife twice in one day

A BELLEEK man who assaulted his wife in the morning, was arrested, then assaulted her again when he was released later the same day has been sentenced to four months in prison.
Thomas McQuillan (59) of Rockfield Gardens, Belleek, appeared at Enniskillen Magistrates Court on Monday via video link from Maghaberry Prison, charged with two counts of common assault in relation to two incidents on September 20.
Having initially entered ‘not guilty’ pleas to the charges, McQuillan changed his plea to guilty before his contest on Monday. A further charge of threats to kill was withdrawn when the Public Prosecution Service said it was offering no evidence in relation to it.
The court heard that just after 6am on September 20 police were called by McQuillan’s wife who said her husband had put his hands over her shoulders, pulled her hair, and called her names.
She said there had then been an altercation in their sitting room, after which she ran to the bathroom. She said McQuillan then got her phone and hit her over the head with it.
McQuillan was arrested and returned to the home at three o’clock that afternoon. When he returned he asked his wife for her bank card, and she told police that she decided to give it to him that time.
The woman told police another incident took place, which included McQuillan coming at her with a small knife, and ripping the wires out of their phone.
McQuillan was arrested again and denied the allegations in his police interview, telling them his wife had mental health issues.
Defence barrister Ciaran Roddy said McQuillan was almost 60-years-old and had never been in court before, but had now been in custody since being arrested on September 20.
District Judge Greg McCourt said it was “unfortunate” McQuillan found himself in court for the first time at his age, noting that having been in prison for three-and-a-half months he had served the equivalent of a seven month sentence.
Judge McCourt sentenced McQuillan to a total of four months in prison, based on time served, and granted a two year restraining order which bars him from going within 200m of his wife for the next two years.

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