Distressed child calls police after dad hit mum at the family home in Dungannon

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A man who assaulted his wife in front of his child because he believed she was cheating on him has been given an 18-month Probation Order.

The court heard how police received a call from a distressed child on the night of January 8 stating that her father had hit her mother.

The constables attended the scene and talked to the defendant, Helio Oliveira, 37, from Barrack Street in Dungannon.

He stated that he had hit his wife because he believed that she had been cheating on him.

The injured party said that she had been struck in the face and body and had been forced to protect herself with a cushion.

“She was punched ... but there was no lasting injury caused,” said Mr Blaine Nugent, defending.

“He pleaded guilty to the charge before the injured party had to give evidence and so saved her from that traumatic experience - he demonstrated regret.

“I would respectfully suggest that a Probation Order would benefit the defendant. The report suggests ‘Building Better Relationships’.

“He plans upon a phased return to the family home under (Social Services’) guidance... and is going to try to rekindle the relationship.”

Deputy District Judge Trevor Browne said: “This is an extremely serious case. It is not only an assault, but a case of domestic violence towards a woman in her own house and in front of her children.

“My first inclination is to impose an immediate prison sentence, but I am told that he will return to the family home - the lady is extremely brave in considering this option,” he stated.

“You don’t raise your fists to another person especially not you wife,” he told the defendant.

“Against my better judgement... I will impose an eighteen month Probation Order.

“But if there is an repetition of this type of behaviour... you will go straight to prison,” he warned.