Headbutted woman after pregnancy claim

A Newmills man who headbutted his former girlfriend after she revealed that she was pregnant has been given a suspended prison sentence.

Appearing before a sentencing hearing at East Tyrone Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday was Leandro Danilo da Costa Menezes, 32, from Newmills Road.

He had previously pleaded guilty to one charge of assault on a female.

The court heard how police were tasked to attend the scene of a reported dispute in a Dungannon residence on the early evening of August 26.

The injured party, a female, told police that during the course of a verbal altercation with her former boyfriend, she had revealed that she was pregnant.

Menezes strenuously denied being the father and insulted the woman which caused her to slap him.

In response, the defendant headbutted her, causing the woman to hit her head on a wall behind her.

The defendant admitted the assault to police but refused to make a counter-allegation of assault.

“This was utterly unacceptable and he accepts that,” said Mr Blaine Nugent, defending, who claimed that his client had “snapped” after receiving the news.

“Any reaction was completely wrong. It is perhaps the measure of the man that he made no counter-allegation.”

Deliberating over sentence, District Judge John Meehan noted the tragic background including miscarriage.

“You remarked to her that hers were the actions of a slut and in response to that outrageous remark she slapped you.

“It is not a major thing (but) it is an assault. You headbutt her. Only a custodial sentence will suffice.

“However, as you made no dispute of the charge and have no record I think you have done enough to avoid an immediate custodial.”

Judge Meehan then handed down a three-month prison sentence which he suspended for two years while also imposing a £200 Compensation Order for his victim.