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Derry man sent to prison for choking woman

Stephen McColgan (25) of no fixed abode pleaded guilty to assaulting his former partner

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A DERRY man has been sent to prison for choking a woman.

Stephen McColgan (25) of no fixed abode pleaded guilty to assaulting his former partner and causing criminal damage in her home on June 13.

He also admitted causing criminal damage to car.

The court was told that police received a report from the injured party, McColgan's former partner, who said she had been assaulted by the defendant two days earlier.

She told police he had choked her and thrown a chair at her and smashed a television and thrown a mobile phone across the room.

On June 16 police received a report that McColgan was outside the injured party's home banging on the door and when they went there a man whose car had been parked nearby said McColgan had damaged a wing mirror and scratched it.

District Judge Barney McElholm said: "There are many reasons these days for not living in the US but for you one is that if you were you would be facing a felony charge and could get between 15 to 20 years as that is how seriously they take choking.

"But here legislation is 150 years old and we are long past the point where that needs to be addressed by those that govern us, if we ever have someone governing us. You are very fortunate that due to a deficiency in the legislation the charge can only be one of common assault."

He sentenced McColgan to eight months in prison.

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