A 23-year-old man who attacked his former partner, knocking her to the ground and dragging her along a street because he “resented how well she was doing” has been jailed.
Ethan Webb from White Island Road, Belleek denied assaulting his then partner causing actual bodily harm, only changing his plea when she arrived at court to give evidence at a contested hearing.
Enniskillen Magistrates Court heard the couple were in a bar on August 27 last year, when a verbal disagreement developed. Once outside, Webb punched the victim in the face, knocking her to the ground.
He then proceeded to drag her along the street before walking away. Dazed from the blow, the victim was unsure where she was and sustained injuries including black eyes as a result.
A defence barrister accepted his client only admitted the charge on the morning of contest but asked the court to note there is no previous record for any offending.
Webb, said the defence acknowledged the incident and injuries were serious and has “shown insight” into his behaviour.
District Judge Steven Keown remarked, “Showing insight means coming to court and pleading guilty at the first opportunity.” The defence conceded Webb had put forward a different version of events and there were issues between the couple, to which Judge Keown said, “He was resentful she was doing better than him, so he punched her round the head and dragged her up the street for that.”
The defence urged the matter to be dealt with by community service or probation and if prison was an option, to consider suspending this. Rejecting these suggestions outright, Judge Keown told Webb, “Domestic violence is rife in society and I don’t know when the penny is going to drop in terms of people perpetrating this kind of abuse. I’ve made it clear there is some chance of looking at non-custodial options where a defendant admits guilt at the outset and is willing to address their offending behaviour for the long-term benefit for society and particularly for females.
“You took yourself well beyond that. You waited for the victim to appear in court for this senseless attack and only then did you plead guilty.
It was gratuitous violence leaving the victim with two black eyes, a loose tooth as well as cuts and bruises from being punched to the head then dragged up the street. I’ve made it clear how I approach cases in these circumstances where someone tests the water to see if the victim is brave enough to come to court.” Webb was jailed for eight months and made subject of a two year Restraining Order banning all contact with the victim.
To read more.. Subscribe to current edition