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17 May 2022

County Derry man told pregnant partner she should 'go and die'

The 25-year-old entered a guilty plea to a charge of harassment.

County Derry man told pregnant partner she should 'go and die'

Magherafelt Magistrates Court.

A 25-year-old County Derry man has been fined and placed under a restraining order after pleading guilty to harassing his then-partner last year.

Dean Martin, of Highfield Road, Magherafelt, entered a guilty plea to a single charge of harassment at Magherafelt Magistrates Court on Wednesday afternoon.

A separate charge of common assault was withdrawn due to 'evidential issues'.

Police had attended the defendant's address on an unrelated warrant and were searching the house when his partner, the injured party, returned home.

After she became upset, police spoke to her off-site, where she told them the defendant had been physically and verbally abusive towards her.

She showed police two videos she had recorded during incidents on March 17 and March 24 in which the audio revealed what was described as a 'lengthy rant' in which the defendant was verbally abusive.

The prosecution told the court that in the recordings, Martin could be heard telling the injured party she should 'go and die' and not to be 'so useless'.

The court heard how the defendant had followed her to the bathroom while swearing and shouting, and in an attempt to get away, the injured party had slapped him twice in the face.

The defendant responded by punching her on the arm, with the court noting the injured party had been 16 weeks pregnant at the time of the incident.

During interview, Martin said he had been with the injured party for around five years, describing their relationship as 'up and down'.

The defendant told police that the injured party had 'no self confidence' and that she 'takes everything the wrong way'.

He conceded that she would have been scared during the incident but said he never intended to scare her.

Defence for Martin said the relationship had been 'toxic' and that it had been 'deteriorating' for some time at the time of the incident, but conceded this was no excuse.

They said it was not a relationship that had been 'routinely physical' and said the defendant had used language that was 'unacceptable'.

The court heard the couple had been separated since April 2021, that they had gone their separate ways and that there had been no issues since.

Judge Dunlop said the defendant's behaviour had been 'totally unacceptable' and that he had been trying to demean the injured party.

He fined Martin £300 for the offences, imposed a £15 offender's levy, and granted a two-year restraining order prohibiting him from any contact, direct or indirect, with the injured party.

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