Cookstown man jailed for assault told police “I hit her a wee slap”

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A Cookstown man has been sentenced to three months in prison for the charge of common assault.

John Patrick McKenna, 48, of Chapel Court, Cookstown pleaded guilty to the charge which police say was a domestic violence case.

A court heard how police were called to an address at Chapel Court, Cookstown.

When police arrived the defendant answered the door. Police noted he appeared unsteady on his feet and they could smell intoxicating liquor from his breath.

When police entered the address, they spoke to the injured party who was in a distressed state and also appeared to intoxicated.

Police noted that the injured party had a bloody nose and swollen lip, and noticed a trail of blood going from the living room to the bathroom where the injured party said she had went to phone police.

The injured party alleged that Mr McKenna had hit her ‘four or five times’.

Police arrested the defendant for the incident and he told officers “I hit her a wee slap”.

A sitting of the east Tyrone Magistrates court in Dungannon heard that an argument had developed and that Mr McKenna told officers that the injured party said told him ‘she knew Karate’ and had kicked out at him, and she walked into his hand as he tried to stop her.

The injured party told officers she didn’t want to make a formal complaint as she ‘didn’t want the hassle’ and was undergoing medical treatment for a serious illness.

A defence barrister for Mr McKenna told the court that the injured party had been the victim of another assault at the hands of another male and they all moved in the same circle of friends, who were all alcohol dependent.

Deputy District Judge Ievers told Mr McKenna he would be given credit for his early guilty plea.

Mr McKenna’s barrister informed the court that Mr McKenna had already spent 9 actual weeks in custody.

Deputy District Judge Ievers sentenced Mr McKenna to a total of four months in prison. She also orderedthat the defendant to pay a £25 offender levy to the court.