Antrim town man is given five months jail sentence

Antrim town man is given five months jail sentence

AN Antrim town man has been given a five months jail sentence.

Gordon Johnston (35), of Kilgreel Road in Antrim town, admitted charges of assault; aggravated taking and causing damage to a vehicle; criminal damage to a window and mobile phone; threats to damage property; using a vehicle without insurance and improper use of a public communications network.

The charges relate to incidents in August and September last year.

A prosecutor said Johnston had taken his ex-partner's car without her permission and had also climbed through a window whilst getting a bank card.

The woman went to get the vehicle and saw it had a flat tyre and "looked like it had been pierced by a knife".

Johnston pushed the woman and during a "struggle" her phone was damaged.

The woman had alleged the defendant threw the car keys at her which struck her in the face but no injury was caused.

The woman also told police Johnston phoned her saying he was going to "burn the car out" and when arrested claimed that when he said 'I'll get it burned out' he was referring to a "fire in his back garden" and wasn't making reference to the vehicle.

A defence lawyer said Johnston has moved to County Down "to be well away from this lady and is attempting to build a new life for himself in a completely different part of Northern Ireland".

District Judge Nigel Broderick told the defendant: "This is yet another case of domestic violence. It is becoming all to prevalent and you are a man with 103 previous convictions.

"There comes a point in someone who appears as often as you do before the courts, where you exhaust the patience of the court and this was committed in the context of you recieving a custodial sentence in another case and the Appeal Court decided to give you a chance...and what do you do?, you torture this poor lady and commit all these offences."

The judge said Johnston had had "umpteen" chances and jailed him for five months and also put in place a two year Restraining Order.

He was ordered to pay £234 compensation for the recovery cost of the vehicle.

Bail was fixed for appeal in the sum of £500.