21 May 2022

County Derry man hit partner on head with a bottle and threatened to 'burn her out'

The defendant also entered a guilty plea to a charge of threats to kill.

County Derry man hit partner on head with a bottle and threatened to 'burn her out'

Coleraine Magistrates Court.

A County Derry man hit his partner on the head with a bottle and threatened to 'burn her out' if she called the police during an incident last month, a court has heard.

Mark Hayes, of Hazelbank Road, Coleraine, appeared at Coleraine Magistrates Court this morning via video link from Maghaberry.

The 30-year-old entered guilty pleas to a number of charges including threats to kill, common assault, criminal damage, threats to damage property and possessing an offensive weapon in a public place.

The defendant also pleaded guilty to charges of theft and possessing a Class B drug in relation to an earlier incident that occurred on Christmas Eve last year.

Police attended a pharmacy on Waterside Road, Coleraine and viewed CCTV showing the defendant stealing six candles to the value of £30 from the premises on December 24 at around 12.30pm.

Whilst viewing the CCTV, staff alerted police to the fact the defendant was actually present in the pharmacy.

They arrested Hayes, who made them aware he had a grinder containing 'one joint's worth' of cannabis on his person. The defendant made admissions to both charges at police interview.

During a separate incident on March 28 2022, the court heard how police were called to a report of a domestic incident in the Kylemore Road area of Coleraine.

On arrival, they spoke to the injured party, who was 'distraught to the verge of tears' and had a cut to the left-hand side of her head. She was initially hesitant to speak to police, but eventually agreed.

She told police she had been returning from the shop when she saw the defendant on the street and that when he saw her, he shouted 'you're dead' before running towards her.

Hayes then grabbed the injured party by the throat and held her up against the fence, before hitting her on the head with a bottle.

The defendant then said: “Don't phone the police or I'll burn you out.”

After he released her throat, the injured party moved away, and the defendant grabbed her phone from her back pocket and threw it to the ground, causing it to smash.

As she grabbed her phone and headed towards her own address, the defendant shouted that he had a 'knife with fingerprints on it'.

Police attended the home address of the defendant, who initially refused them entry and then left through another door as they forcibly entered the house, before eventually being arrested.

At interview he denied the assault and said he had not made any threats, but accepted he had thrown the phone.

Defence for Hayes said he accepted he had been highly intoxicated at the time of the incidents, that he had been totally in the wrong and told the court he was anxious to put the incidents behind him.

District Judge King sentenced the defendant to one month's imprisonment and due to time already served, said he would be released immediately.

He was ordered to pay £200 in compensation to the injured party in relation to the most recent incident, with the judge also imposing a Protection from Harassment order for two years.

In relation to the theft and possession of a Class B drug, Judge King fined Hayes a total of £250 and issued a destruction order for the drugs.

Offender's levies totalling £40 were also imposed on the defendant.

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