Dungannon man who punched wife in the head in front of toddlers avoids jail

Dungannon Courthouse
Dungannon Courthouse

A former Dungannon man has avoided prison following a serious domestic violence attack against his estranged wife in front of their toddlers almost two years ago.

Michael Doran (40) who has since moved to Stanley Drive, Renfrewshire appeared before East Tyrone Magistrates Court on April 12 where he pleaded guilty to a charge of assaulting the victim causing her actual bodily harm.

The court heard the victim attended with police on May 16, 2015 and said she had been assaulted, but then left the station after declining to disclose anything further.

However she returned the following day and stated Doran had assaulted her in front of their two young children.

She explained he had moved out of the family home a few days before the incident, but had returned. On finding the doors locked he began banging and shouting.

The victim said she opened a door and Doran was "in a rage, shouting verbal abuse", before lashing out and punching her to the head.

This resulted in a cut above the victim’s eye for which she was required to attend hospital for treatment.

A defence barrister said his client was "realistic", fully understanding the custody threshold had been met.

He explained the couple had met at college and then settled in Dungannon. He developed a problem with alcohol which led to a breakdown in the marriage, which he now accepts is over.

Immediately after the assault the court was told he checked into an intensive residential treatment programme and deeply regretted his actions.

The defence concluded: "My client knows he is big enough and old enough to know better."

Deputy District Judge Ted Magill said: "This is a domestic violence case and the courts have zero tolerance. It is an appalling crime which blights lives. All courts will in these instances be considering custody, as I am now."

However Judge Magill took into consideration Doran’s previously clear record, his immediate guilty plea and genuine remorse.

He handed down a sentence of four months in custody suspended for two years.