Brutal assault | 

Judge tells thug who twice attacked ex-partner ‘it will be jail next time’

When police attended to find out what was going on, they found the woman with two black eyes and a bruise on her nose

Paul McCallin

Paul HigginsSunday Life

A thug who twice assaulted his now ex-partner when she confronted him about an alleged affair has been put on probation for 18 months.

In January this year the woman’s sibling raised the alarm, saying her sister “was the victim of domestic abuse” at the hands of 42-year-old Paul McCallin.

When police attended to find out what was going on, they found the woman with two black eyes and a bruise on her nose.

The victim told officers that “she asked about the affair and he grabbed her by both arms, pulling her onto the bed, but her face collided with a bedside cabinet, causing injuries to her nose and right ear”.

The court, sitting in Ballymena, was told the assault came eight days after an earlier confrontation over McCallin’s affair.

A prosecution lawyer said the woman was in McCallin’s home in Antrim at the time and when she confronted him, he “pushed her down onto the tiled floor” with enough force that she hit her head and it started bleeding.

She also recounted to cops that in December last year he had “smashed her bedroom window” because she wouldn’t let him in to her home, and a few months earlier he had smashed three iPhones which belonged to the victim.

The court was told that when officers went to McCallin’s home to arrest him for the domestic abuse, they “noted a strong smell of cannabis” and uncovered three grams of the class B drug.

Earlier this year McCallin was convicted of common assault, criminal damage and possession of cannabis.

According to the victim impact statement, since McCallin’s convictions, his former partner has received numerous silent phone calls from a “no caller ID” and has even spotted him outside her work.

McCallin “denies being the caller” but conceded that he had been “spoken to by police” about being outside her workplace.

“He accepts that the relationship is over and there will not be any further dealings with this lady,” said his defence lawyer.

The court was told the relationship ended over allegations of him having an affair, “which he denies”, and conceded that, given the nature of the offences, “there’s a very real risk of a custodial disposal”.

However, it was argued he would be suitable for a probation-run programme directed at preventing domestic violence as “a direct alternative” to a jail sentence for a man with a clear record.

The judge told McCallin, who appeared in court in person, that “normally, the court would not hesitate in imposing an immediate custodial sentence, because the court takes a dim view of domestic violence,” adding: “While the physical injuries may have healed, it’s clear that the victim has sustained and continues to struggle with emotional trauma, and those wounds are harder and slower to heal.”

Imposing the 18-month probation order, the judge warned McCallin it involved an “intensive programme of work” and supervision, including a ban on McCallin “developing any intimate relationship without notifying his probation officer”.

Also given a two-year restraining order, McCallin was told should any breach occur, he would “almost inevitably face” going to jail.

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