Paul Beattie (38) had been ‘constantly messaging his ex-partner, threatening to commit suicide and leave his children fatherless’
Craigavon Magistrates Court heard how the victim contacted police last July to report how her ex-partner 38-year-old Paul Beattie had been “constantly messaging her, threatening to commit suicide and leave his children fatherless.”
She had been in a relationship with Beattie for about 18 months before it ended the preceding April and the victim reported how throughout that time, he had been “continually messaging her,” even when she was out with friends.
A prosecuting lawyer told the court the victim had blocked Beattie on all social media platforms but an email he had sent landed in her spam folder and she was still able to read it.
Beattie had sent her his passwords and mobile banking details, reporting that he had written three letters because “he would not be there after the weekend” and threatened that he would commit suicide if she didn’t get back with him.
Arrested and interviewed Beattie, from Belvedere Manor in Lurgan, made full admissions and later entered a guilty plea to a “domestic abuse offence” in that between April 9-24 last year, he engaged in a course of behaviour which was likely to cause “physical or psychological harm.”
Defence counsel John Paul McCann said Beattie “took the end of the relationship quite badly and acted highly inappropriately” but that he now accepted it was over.
“The injured party should be free to live her life and free to move on in whatever way she sees fit and he should’ve accepted that at the time,” said the lawyer, adding that Beattie is “embarrassed snd ashamed about his behaviour.”
District Judge Bernie Kelly said because of Beattie’s attitude to probation, a community disposal was not open to her so “there’s only one alternative when it’s something so serious as this.”
Highlighting that the same offences carries a maximum of 14 years at Crown Court level, the judge told Beattie he had subjected his victim to an “exceptionally high level of emotional abuse….to emotionally abuse your former partner to this extent and in this way has to be taken seriously.”
Although DJ Kelly imposed a three month jail sentence and a two year restraining order, Beattie was freed on bail pending an appeal of the sentence.