A MAN who admitted assaulting his wife during a party to mark his 58th birthday has been jailed for five months.
Petre Fedor, of Suffolk Street in Ballymena, had the assistance of a Romanian language interpreter when he appeared via video link from prison at Antrim Magistrates Court, sitting in Ballymena (main picture).
The defendant turned 58 on Thursday November 25 but had a party on Saturday November 27.
A prosecutor said taht at 10.10pm on November 27 police were called to an ongoing domestic dispute at an address in Ballymena.
The court was told police spoke to a "distressed Romanian female" who was "visibly upset" and she "alleged that she had been assaulted by her husband during an argument".
The prosecutor, Court News NI can report, said the victim "alleged he had punched her on the left side of her face; pushed her head into a wall; punched her on the chin and dragged her by the hair".
Police noted a cut to the inside of her lip; redness on her face; a bruise to her chin and a "swollen red lump behind her left ear".
Fedor was arrested and taken into custody.
During an interview he initially denied the offence and, the prosecutor said, "suggested the injury was self-inflicted".
Defence solicitor Stewart Ballentine said the defendant had spent time in custody on remand and had a previously clear record.
He said a guilty plea had now been entered.
Last November, he said, a "party" had been arranged to mark the defendant's birthday and "unfortunately too much drink was consumed on all sides".
The lawyer said the defendant's memory was vague but "can recall certain derogatory comments" to which he took offence.
The solicitor said Fedor accepted that "whatever provocation there may have been it was no way to behave towards his wife" and he wished to apologise.
The lawyer said the defendant hoped there still might be a "reconciliation" in the marriage.
Jailing the defendant for five months, District Judge Nigel Broderick said "domestic violence is a serious matter".
A two year Restraining Order was also put in place.