By Donal McMahon
A Newry bricklayer who punched the mother of his children in the face and threatened to bury her whilst she held their baby in her arms has been given a five-month suspended prison sentence.
Kevin McGuigan (29) of Parkhead Crescent pleaded guilty to breach of a non-molestation order, assault and threats to damage property on November 11, 2020.
Two counts of cruelty to a person under 16 and three counts of false imprisonment were withdrawn.
Newry magistrates court heard that a member of the public in the Lislea area reported hearing the screams of a known woman at approximately 11.30pm.
The caller raised concerns as they knew the women was on her own with two young children a five-year-old and one year old baby.
McGuigan had attended the address in breach of a non-molestation order having been a person with a history of violence towards his former partner and mother of his two children.
Following an altercation at the front of the house, McGuigan wedged his foot in the door to gain entry.
It was highlighted that an intoxicated McGuigan had become infuriated when the female injured party refused to speak with him.
In a “horrific” incident, McGuigan launched verbal abuse at the woman calling her “a pig” and stating that he would “bury her six foot under”.
The verbal abuse then came physical with McGuigan punching the female to the face up to five times, whilst she held her baby in her arms and threatening to throw the woman down the stairs.
During a struggle on the floor McGuigan lifted a bottle in a threatening manner, attempted to headbutt her and put his arms around her throat and mouth causing her to not being able to breath.
The inured party later told police that she thought her life was ending and that she was “very afraid” of McGuigan.
The attack victim was able to escape to her car with her two young children.
However, McGuigan pursued her and threatened that he would break the windows of the vehicle.
The women sped off and attended at Daisy Hill hospital to be treated for injuries to her eyes and lips.
Officers attended the scene and discovered McGuigan, who was forbidden to be in the area due to a non-molestation order against him.
He was arrested and responded to caution, “what for?”
During a PSNI interview, McGuigan admitted being at the scene, but claimed he was the only person there and had let himself into the house with a key.
He further claimed that the screams had come from another neighbour and denied any assault.
Defence solicitor, Gerard Trainor alluded time already served by bus client to be the equivalent of a 10 month sentence.
“He is a bricklayer, father of two kids, who has gone straight into work from prison,” said Mr Trainor.
“Passage of time spent is five months in prison.
“He has now had plenty of time to reflect on annoyance to his family.
“He is now engaged in rehabilitation work in prison with drink.
“He has been liaising with his GP with assistance to stay away from drink.
“Not using drink as an excuse, but it caused this incident to happen.
“Going forward he has a record and clearly issues in conduct to females.
“Social services have met with us in order to have some form of contact with children,” added the solicitor.
Deputy district judge Anne Marshall alluded to the serious nature of the offences and referred to a non-molestation order that was in place to 2022.
“This was an absolutely horrific incident,” said Ms Marshall.
“This is the second breach of a non-molestation order against the same injured party.
“This was a prolonged incident of atrocious behaviour.
“There were young children present at the time.
“The trauma of which they suffered is not to be underestimated, it was terrifying.
“A disgusting attack on a woman with a baby.
“He put his arms around her throat and mouth.
“This was a serious incident indeed and the custody threshold has been met,” added the judge.