Grabbed girlfriend by throat while drunk

Judge's court wig and hammer or gavel
Judge's court wig and hammer or gavel

In a drunken rage a 41-year-old man grabbed his girlfriend by the throat and attacked two police officers who arrived on the scene, Banbridge Magistrates Court heard last Thursday.

Stephen Ernest Cooke, Ballygowan Park, Banbridge, was sentenced to five months in prison, suspended for two years, for assaulting his partner.

He was also ordered to pay her £500 compensation.

For the two assaults on police officers he was given a conditional discharge for two years.

The court heard that at 9pm on March 12 this year police received a report of an ongoing domestic incident.

They saw the female injured party who was very distressed. She was in the street, barely dressed and carrying a child.

She claimed that the defendant had grabbed her by the throat and pushed her to the ground.

Police took her to a safe place and approached the defendant who was in the house. He was drinking beer, screaming and smashing glasses.

As police were telling him to calm down the injured party came into the property and Cooke tried to grab her.

The defendant pushed one of the police officers onto a sofa and pushed another constable out of his way. As he went for the victim police were able to secure her.

They called for assistance and four officers entered the house. CS gas had to be used and Cooke was double handcuffed.

A public prosecutor added that a child was in the house and Cooke had used the usual foul mouth diatribe against the police.

The case had been adjourned from a previous court so that a pre-sentence report could be obtained.

A solicitor representing the defendant said that he had no relevant record. He added that Cooke was appalled, embarrassed and totally disgusted by his behaviour.

He had no recollection because of the alcohol he had taken. He would apologise to the police.

The solicitor explained that his client was working with the social services and he had stayed off alcohol.

District Judge, Mr Paul Copeland, said that an aggravating feature was that children were present during this the course of these events.

He told Cooke he had been ‘drinking to a point of oblivion’ and while fortunately there was no injury to the police officers there was significant upset to the injured party.

Judge Copeland said he had been told that the defendant wanted to put this behind him, had changed by lifestyle by abstaining from alcohol and had regular church attendance.

But, he added, he had been assessed as medium risk of re-offending and warned Cooke if he was convicted again of this sort of abuse he would go to prison.