Northern Ireland news

Man who kicked ex-partner in the head and declared he would murder her is jailed for seven months

Raymond George Neal (42) launched the attack when the woman went to his home to collect her belongings

A MAN who kicked his ex-partner in the head and declared he would "murder" her has been jailed for seven months.

Raymond George Neal (42) launched the attack when the woman went to his home to collect her belongings.

Neal, formerly of Barra Street in Antrim, was convicted of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, threats to kill, disorderly behaviour and criminal damage to her mobile phone.

Belfast Magistrates Court heard he became violent and abusive on February 8 last year after the victim missed the last train home.

She hid in the bathroom for a period and then fled when the house fell silent, phoning police as she ran.

But Neal chased and caught her by the hair before inflicting a series of blows.

"She curled up in a foetal position as he kicked and punched her in the head and abdomen," a Crown lawyer said.

When officers arrived at the scene in the Springfarm Road area of Antrim he was swinging both arms as the victim lay on the ground with blood coming from her mouth.

The woman was taken to hospital by ambulance for treatment to jaw and cheekbone injuries.

Prosecutors disclosed that when Neal was arrested he stated: "I'm going to murder her, if ever released."

In a separate incident on July 17 last year, he was discovered wandering about in an area of Newtownabbey "shouting about demons and general nonsense", the court heard.

When police located two bottles of liqueur and detained Neal for a suspected breach of an alcohol prohibition he tried to bite and spit on officers.

Defence barrister Richard McConkey acknowledged: "He has difficulties with substance misuse."

Ruling that custody was inevitable, District Judge George Conner imposed a seven-month term to cover the offences against Neal's ex-partner and the assault on police.

Neal was granted bail pending an appeal against sentence, but banned from entering the town where the woman lives.

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