A District Judge has described an assault by a man on his partner at a wedding reception in a County Tyrone hotel as “a cowardly and vicious act.”
Thirty-six-year-old Paul McCloskey from Longfield Lane, Desertmartin, was sentenced to six months in custody for assaulting the woman, causing her actual bodily harm.
Judge Michael Ranaghan said the defendant claimed to have reacted after being provoked.
Mr Ranagan added that what made it worse was the fact that it took place in front of two young children and the victim had suffered a serious injury.
East Tyrone Magistrates Court heard on Friday that the case had previously been heard and adjourned for sentencing.
McCloskey was released on bail pending an appeal against the jail sentence.
Prosecution counsel said the injured party sustained a broken bone and haemorrhaging to her right eye.
She said the incident had happened at a hotel on May 26 last year, and two young children had witnessed the assault taking place.
A defence barrister said it was a “very serious case” and McCloskey had admitted punching his partner to the face from the outset.
Counsel explained that the defendant had drink taken at the event which was his sister’s wedding.
“He accepts that he punched her to the face and this is something which he wholly regrets,” said the lawyer. “If he could turn back time and make it not happen he would.”
Continuing, the lawyer said McCloskey has no history of violence and “nothing of this nature” in his record.
He suggested that a community based disposal may be open to the court in disposing of the matter.
The lawyer went on to say that McCloskey attended with two aunts, who were here to support him in court but not his actions on this occasion.
“He fully accepts the offence from the outset and I would ask the court to leave something hanging over him,” he added.
Judge Ranaghan said he did not feel it was a case where a community based disposal would be appropriate.
He remarked that it was a serious assault and there would have to be a custodial sentence to reflect the seriousness of the charge.