Northern Ireland news

Pregnant mum-of-two is warned she may face jail after she admitted assaulting another woman at a house party

Laganside courthouse in Belfast

A PREGNANT mother-of-two was warned yesterday that she may face jail after she admitted assaulting another woman at a house party.

As a trial at Belfast Crown Court was about to enter its second day, a barrister representing Alana McCallion asked that she be re-arraigned on a charge of causing the injured woman grievous bodily harm with intent.

The 23-year old pleaded not guilty to the offence - but admitted a lesser charge of causing the woman grievous bodily harm.

After the Crown accepted the plea to the lesser charge, Judge Neil Rafferty QC addressed the jury and told them to return a verdict of 'guilty by confession.'

When the case was opened to the jury on Monday, they were told McCallion, from Lewis Court in Belfast, was accused of repeatedly punching a woman in the face.

It was the Crown's case that the violent incident occurred at a house in north Belfast which, at the time, was occupied by McCallion.

Several people were present at the party, and in the early hours of November 18, 2017, a fight between two male revellers broke out. This prompted McCallion to tell everyone the party was over and she asked everyone to leave.

A prosecuting barrister said that as the complainant was leaving "words were exchanged" between her and McCallion which led to McCallion "pulling her to the ground by the hair and repeatedly punching her about the face."

She went home but attended the Ulster Hospital later that day, where it emerged that her jaw had been broken in two places.

When McCallion was arrested, she accepted a fight had broken out and that the complainant sustained injuries - but said she was not responsible until her re-arraignment yesterday.

Co-accused Dean James Hutchinson, from The Glade in Newtownabbey, was accused of punching the same woman in the chest and was charged with, and denied, common assault.

The judge told the jury he was discharging them from reaching a verdict on the charge against Hutchinson (30), who was then handed a caution.

McCallion was ordered to return back to court on April 1 for sentencing and told by Judge Rafferty that he could not rule out a custodial sentence.

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