Man 'snapped' after seeing his ex-wife with a new partner

A BALLYMENA man "snapped" after seeing his ex-wife, with whom he believed he was going to be reconciled, with a new partner, a court has heard.

Michael Andrew White (33), of Castle Street, appeared in the dock at Ballymena Magistrates Court on 10 charges arising out of an incident in which he is alleged to have forced his way into his ex-wife’s home.

White is charged with assaulting a man; taking a motor vehicle without the owner’s consent; breach of a non-molestation order; assaulting a woman; driving while unfit; failing to provide a specimen of breath; entering as a trespasser and stealing a set of car keys; criminal damage to a mobile telephone; and two counts of making threats to kill.

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The offences are alleged to have taken place on April 7.

A PSNI officer told the court that White broke in to his ex-wife’s home where he assaulted her and her current partner and made threats towards the couple.

He then took the woman’s car keys and drove off in the vehicle. There were two children present in the house at the time, it was said.

Barrister Michael Smith said White and his estranged wife had been attempting to “patch things up” and get back together and claimed the defendant had received several calls and messages from the alleged injured party to that effect.

He said White had “snapped” when he found out that his ex-wife had begun a new relationship a few weeks ago.

“That made a huge dent in his expectation as to what might happen in the future,” added Mr Smith.

District Judge Des Perry described what he had heard as “an appalling incident”.

He released White on his own bail of 500 with two sureties of 750 to reside with his parents.

He was also ordered not to enter Toome Road or have any contact with any of the alleged injured parties in the case.

He is also to report to police three times per week, not to consume alcohol and to submit to breath testing by police.

Mr Perry warned White: “Any further offending in this case involving these people and you will be remanded in custody until this case is ready to proceed - and that could be months.

“He would be well-advised if there are any further advances from this woman to completely ignore them,” the judge added.