Called victim ‘lesbian b*****d’ before attacking her in street
A young Magherafelt mother attacked a woman in the town centre after calling her a “lesbian b*****d”, the local Magistrates Court was told on Wednesday.
Twenty-one-year-old Charlene Johnston from Queen’s Avenue, was said by a prosecuting lawyer to have punched her victim in the face and neck and held her down.
The court heard the incident happened in the Rainey Street of the town on July 1, 2017, and eight days later Johnston met the woman again at Aughrim Road and threatened to kill her.
Johnston, who appeared in court by video link from her solicitor’s office, was given a three-month jail sentence in relation to the assault and one month for resisting a police officer, both of which were suspended for 12 months.
For making the death threat she was given a two-month suspended sentence to run consecutively with the others.
Passing sentence, District Judge Oonagh Mullan described the incidents as serious but accepted that they had happened almost four years ago and there had been no further incidents.
Outlining details of the assault on July 1, counsel said the defendant had left the area after the incident.
He said she later denied involvement and had claimed she did not know the victim or her sexuality.
Counsel added the injured party had only “come out” as gay.
Continuing, he explained the threat to kill on July 9 was made while the injured party was walking with another person at Aughrim Road and met Johnston.
He said the injured party feared Johnston and believed that the threat would be carried out.
Defence lawyer Michael Forde stressed the incidents had happened “a long time ago” when the defendant was still a youth.
He said the defendant was now a young mother who had caring duties.
Mr Forde said she was now in a steady relationship and was now getting on with her life.
He stressed there had been no contact between the parties since and asked the court to take this into account.
Thank you for reading this article. We’re more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by Coronavirus impacts our advertisers.
Please consider purchasing a copy of the paper. You can also support trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription of the News Letter.