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Drunk man (50) jailed after he 'pulled clumps of hair' from woman he dragged across dance floor on Christmas Eve

Ronald William White who was jailed at Coleraine Magistrates Court for assault. Picture by Mark Jamieson.

A 50-year-old Co Derry lorry driver, who ripped clumps of hair from a young woman's head after he dragged her across a dance floor in a bar on Christmas Eve, has been jailed for four months.

Married father-of-two Ronald William White, from Castleroe Road, Coleraine, had previously pleaded guilty to offences of assault occasioning actual bodily harm; assault and disorderly behaviour relating to an incident at the Anchor Bar in Portstewart last year.

White also punched another woman during the dance floor flare-up, the court heard.

Jailing the defendant, District Judge Peter King said the courts had to send out a strong message that such attacks could not be tolerated.

"This was an unprovoked assault by a 50-year-old man on two young girls on Christmas Eve. It was gratuitous, humiliating and completely and utterly uncalled for", the judge said at Coleraine Magistrates Court.

He said one of the women lost clumps of hair and added: "This was gross, unnecessary, violence on two young girls out on Christmas Eve enjoying themselves".

A prosecutor said White had been walking across a dance floor when he spilled drink over one of the woman and he then put his forehead towards her and asked through gritted teeth: "What the f**k is your problem?" before the assaults.

One of the woman lost part of her hair after being pulled across the floor and was scratched in the face. She now suffers from post traumatic stress disorder and suffers panic attacks, the court was told.

When interviewed, White told police he had been out at a number of venues and couldn't remember going upstairs in the Anchor Bar as he was drunk.

He claimed he had not taken alcohol for two years as he "didn't like hangovers".

After watching the incident on CCTV White had said he would like to meet the women and apologise to them, the prosecutor said.

Defence barrister Alan Stewart said it was a "shameful incident" and his client, a lorry driver, said he was "completely gutted" by what he had done.

Mr Stewart said: "He has a daughter, he knows how he would feel if someone had done that to his daughter".

Mr Stewart said White had brought shame on his family and had been off alcohol since the incident.

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