Groom attacked wife on their wedding night at Toomebridge hotel

editorial image

A groom who kicked and punched his new wife in the bridal suite of a hotel on the night of their wedding has avoided being sent to jail.

Shocking details of the wedding night attack emerged at Antrim Magistrates Court on Tuesday.

The court heard it should have been the best day of their lives but instead joiner Kevin Joseph McGrath (28) - whose address was given as Ardnaskea Drive, Coalisland, but who had been living in Desertmartin in County Derry - went on a drink bender.

He was so drunk his barrister claimed he couldn’t remember anything after the wedding meal ended at 8pm.

The court heard the night quickly went downhill with McGrath attacking his new wife in the bridal suite.

Police were called to the White River House Hotel in Toomebridge on Sunday October 2 this year.on.

His wife fled her room and alerted staff and had to be taken to hospital for treatment to her injuries, the details of which were not outlined to the court.

Staff confronted McGrath who was “kicked out” and made his way home.

The court heard that since being married two months ago the defendant has not seen his wife nor his daughter.

The new bride told police she had been “scolding” her husband for being sick on the floor and as he lay on the bed he put his hands on her throat, “hurting her” and causing her to be feel “very scared”.

She was taken to hospital and discharged and told police her husband had kicked and punched her several times and then he went to sleep.

Defence barrister Michael Ward said the defendant was stressed out in the run up to the wedding and there were incidents on the wedding day like the Best Man “taking himself elsewhere” and issues about the music being played which caused “some frustration”.

He said McGrath’s wife said her husband was “bad-tempered” and “stubborn” but she never would have described him as violent before the flare-up on what should have been the “best day of their lives”.

Mr Ward said McGrath wished to unreservedly apologise to his wife. “He has lost everything as a result of what happened,” he told the court.

District Judge White said he was reluctant to send first time offenders to prison saying that would not help McGrath in potentially re-building his relationship with his wife.

Instead, he put McGrath on probation for two years to take part in the Building Better Relationships programme and also ordered him to carry out 100 hours of Community Service.

He also ordered the defendant to pay £300 compensation to his wife.