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2 bottles of gin Grandad jailed for punching partner 13 times claims he pleaded guilty to something he can't remember doing

HORRIFIC ATTACK: we confront man who's appealing jail sentence

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Stuart Andrews is back home after appealing his sentence

Stuart Andrews is back home after appealing his sentence

Stuart Andrews is back home after appealing his sentence

A grandfather jailed for punching his partner 13 times in the face claimed this week he pleaded guilty to something he didn't do - but then admitted he can't remember much after drinking two bottles of gin.

Stuart Andrews told the Sunday World he knows he didn't punch or choke his ex-partner despite the fact he admitted to us he suffers from memory loss and had downed two full bottles of gin while taking heavy-duty pain medication - and despite the fact he pleaded guilty to the assault in court.

Despite his own barrister describing his behaviour as "abhorrent" and a "serious domestic incident", while the judge described pictures of the injuries as "quite harrowing", he bizarrely claimed to us that was the victim.

The 53-year-old father of six and grandfather of two was accused of punching his ex 13 times in the face as well as choking her and, after admitting a single count of assault, he was jailed for five months.

Currently out on bail to appeal the sentence, Andrews, of Rathmore Gardens, Antrim, says he was told he had no option but to plead guilty.

"I was told I'd better plead guilty to assault because if I contested it and lost I could have been sent to jail for even longer," he told this paper.

"I suffer from a memory loss condition so it made it impossible for me to defend myself properly if I pleaded not guilty.

"I'm not a violent man, ask anybody that knows me, and I've never been convicted of anything in my life but I suffer from a ton of conditions and one of them is memory loss.

"Plus I hadn't drank for ages and then that night I drank two bottles of gin and I'm on really strong slow-release painkillers because I suffer severe arthritis.

"All I can remember is lying on the floor - I'd drunk so much along with the painkillers I was basically a cabbage, there's no way I could have possibly punched anyone 13 times while choking them.

"When I woke the next morning I knew I hadn't done anything wrong because I didn't have a bad feeling."

He told us his life had been ruined with the stress of a prison sentence hanging over his head.

"It's not fair the stress this has put me under," he told us. "I already suffer from COPD and I was given five years to live four years ago by doctors.

"I'm awaiting surgery because they found lumps on my bladder, liver, bowels and kidneys and they need to be removed.

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"If I go to prison I'm worried I'll lose my place in the queue and won't get my surgery. I was a sprayer by trade and I think I was breathing in all kinds of toxins, plus I have severe asthma.

"It's been the worst Christmas ever. It will tear my family apart. Thankfully they are standing by me because they know I'm not capable of doing what she says I did. I've never been violent."

He says he has an on-off relationship with the victim and says he had lost a previous partner of 18 years to cancer a few years ago.

When pushed as to whether, given the fact he was on a cocktail of painkillers and two bottles of gin, could he have possibly committed the acts and now just can't remember, he replied: "I've no doubt at all, I know for a fact I didn't do that."

Despite his claims to us, Antrim Magistrates Court took a completely different view.

Court News NI reported that Andrews' former partner had called the Ambulance Service in June last year to report she had been attacked.

A prosecutor outlined to the court that the PSNI was told by the Ambulance Service that they had received a call from a female who said she had been assaulted and had suffered a cut to her head.

The call operator told the victim, who was present in court, to lock herself in a bathroom and when police arrived the woman was already in the ambulance.

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Stuart Andrews speaks to our man Steven Moore

Stuart Andrews speaks to our man Steven Moore

Stuart Andrews speaks to our man Steven Moore

Body-worn footage showed "two large bumps on her forehead; a cut to the bridge of her nose and a swollen eye".

Photos were also taken, the court was told.

The victim told police that during a "verbal argument" her then partner "punched her 13 times to the face, grabbing her by the throat and choking her".

She told police she "fought back to evade the attack", while Andrews was found at the address with cuts to his arm and "scratch marks to his face".

The following day police noticed the woman had "significant bruising to her forehead and nose; her nose was swollen and her left eye had become black".

She also had minor bruising to her cheeks and forearms.

When interviewed, the defendant claimed the woman had "lunged" at him and he tried to get her off.

Andrews claimed the victim had "mood swings" and he had "bruises all over his arms and what he thought was a bite mark".

He claimed that the complainant "wasn't herself at that time" and he had acted in "self-defence".

He said he had pushed her away to get her off him and he remembered her falling and had "probably hit her head on a radiator" but he "couldn't recall punching her".

He also denied choking the woman. The prosecutor said police had suggested to Andrews that the complainant had bitten him on the arm to get him off her but Andrews said he "couldn't remember".

A defence barrister accepted "self-defence could play no part" in what happened in what was an incident of "serious domestic violence".

He said it "appears to have been a one-off, abhorrent, incident", adding there had been "a lot of drink taken" by Andrews.

District Judge Nigel Broderick said: "This is a very serious offence aggravated by a number of features. First of all it is a serious case of domestic violence and the courts have made it very clear on numerous occasions that the courts will not tolerate incidents of this sort.

"It is a violent assault. According to her complaint she was punched 13 times and her complaint that she was grabbed by the throat and choked".

The judge said "quite harrowing" photos showing injuries to the victim's face and "as if that wasn't bad enough you then fixed the case for contest and the victim would no doubt have been worried about coming to court and having to relive this incident.

"Thankfully she was spared going into the witness box but only at the eleventh hour and no doubt she would have been anxious leading up to the day of contest.

"So, you are entitled to some credit for your plea but that credit is significantly reduced by virtue of the late plea".

He jailed Andrews for five months and also put a two-year Restraining Order in place but he was bailed to appeal the sentence.

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