A 26-year-old Derry man who acted in a ‘cowardly fashion’ when he assaulted his vulnerable partner has been jailed for five months.

James Doherty, of Ederowen Park pleaded guilty to charges of assaulting police and resisting police on January 18, of this year.

He also pleaded guilty to causing criminal damage by smashing the window of a house on October 14, 2016.

A Public Prosecutor said that at 11.35pm on January 18 the defendant was captured on CCTV grabbing his girlfriend by the throat, pushing her against railings and slapping her on the face over a five to ten-minute period.

Police located a male and female who matched the description of those seen on CCTV.

The woman was identified as a ‘vulnerable individual’ who is deemed to be a ‘high risk victim of domestic violence’.

She refused to tell police anything about the incident, however, based on CCTV evidence Doherty was arrested.

He ‘struggled vigorously’ as handcuffs were applied and was further arrested for resisting police.

When shown CCTV footage he made no response.

The earlier incident from last October took place around 10.25pm when he was drinking with several other people on the street.

He slammed a piece of concrete off a wall, before throwing it through a woman’s window and running off to hide in a shed.

The victim heard a bang on her front door, and glass was strewn over the hallway - the cost of the damage was £150.

Once again, Doherty made no response during police interview.

Paddy MacDermott, defending, said his client is still in a relationship with the injured party he assaulted.

They both went to England and Doherty was arrested upon his return to Derry.

The defence solicitor said his client pleaded guilty at the first opportunity and asked Deputy District Judge Sean O’Hare to take the principle of totality into account when passing sentence.

The judge told the court that Doherty committed the latter offence whilst on bail and referred to his ‘significant record’.

He added, ‘he behaved in a cowardly fashion towards a vulnerable female’ and ‘didn’t make admissions at the time’.

The defendant was jailed for five months in total.

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