PSNI urge victims of domestic violence to come forward

The PSNI has issued a statement urging victims of domestic abuse to come forward after a former apprentice solicitor received a four year sentence after being convicted of a catalogue of domestic abuse.

32 year old Kevin McDaid, whose address was given as Hillview in Buncrana, was sentenced to four years imprisonment, half to be served in prison and half to be served on licence. He was also given a five year restraining order.

He pled guilty to false imprisonment, making threats to kill, seven counts of common assault, two counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and three of criminal damage in connection with incidents in 2017 involving his then partner. He also entered a guilty plea to another count of AOABH in relation to an assault on another person and was sentenced to nine months imprisonment to run concurrently.

In a statement, the PSNI say domestic abuse is a terrifying crime which has a long lasting impact on survivors. It takes a lot of strength and fortitude to come forward and make a complaint, and to see that complaint through the criminal justice system.

The statement concludes that perpetrators should be aware that there are penalties and consequences for abusive actions within relationships, including being locked up behind bars. They urge anyone who is currently suffering to come forward, assuring them that they will be treated with sensitivity and respect.

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Full court report -

A former apprentice solicitor who admitted subjecting his ex-girlfriend to a series of violent assaults over a six month period in 2017, was today jailed for four years at Derry Crown Court.

Kevin McDaid, 32, whose address was given as Hillview in Buncrana, Co. Donegal, pleaded guilty to a total of fifteen offences, all but one of which he committed against his former girlfriend.
The offences included assault, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, falsely imprisoning and threatening to kill his victim and causing criminal damage to her property.

One of the assaults was committed against a neighbour of the couple when they lived in Princes Terrace in Derry. The neighbour came to the victim's assistance when he saw McDaid dragging her along the street by her hair. When the neighbour told McDaid to have some respect for the female victim, McDaid ran at the neighbour and punched him twice on the head and face inflicting injuries which required complicated follow-up surgery.

A prosecution barrister said the violent assaults on the female victim took place in a toxic and alcohol fuelled relationship between May and November 2017. On one occasion McDaid spat into his girlfriend's face. During further assaults he grabbed her by the throat and inflicted injuries on her which caused swelling to her head and bruises to her body.
McDaid used several weapons during his assaults on his girlfriend. They included a wire coat hanger, a wooden bedside locker and a vacuum cleaner pipe.

Defence barrister Michael McAleer said McDaid, who as a result of his offending had lost a promising legal career, now accepted he was totally at fault.
"Since he first lifted his hand he lost every sense of respect. This behaviour was appalling against the background of a progressively worsening situation. His apology to the victim is not for the optics, it is genuinely meant", Mr. McAleer said.

Judge Philip Babington said he had viewed a large number of photographs which showed some of the injuries sustained by the victim.
"They show in very graphic terms the way in which the defendant treated her", he said.

Judge Babington said he had read and considered a victim impact report.
"There is no doubt that the defendant's treatment of her has affected her adversely but to what extent it is difficult to know. She has been advised that she should seek some expert therapy if that is available and one can only hope that as time goes by she will be able to put the way in which the defendant treated her behind her. Unfortunately at the present time she feels that the defendant is still a threat to her but again with time these fears may pass", Judge Babington said.

He said that McDaid, who had previous criminal convictions for indecent behaviour, disorderly behaviour and for assaulting police, had McDaid had subjected his victim to both violence and humiliation.

"This was very serious violence in a setting where the victim should have expected to be respected and cherished. It went on over a period of time seemingly without very much mercy from the defendant being shown to his victim. All relationships can have moments of difficulty but there is never an excuse for a man to lift his hand to a woman, certainly not here where it was done many times and with a variety of weapons over a prolonged period of time.

"The photographs of the injuries and bruising caused are quite disturbing. Thankfully the injuries perpetrated were not more severe than they were. Domestic violence of this nature is not acceptable in modern society", Judge Babington said.
As well as jailing McDaid for four years, Judge Babington also imposed a Restraining Order on him for five years. Under the terms of the Order McDaid is banned from coming within one hundred metres of any property in which his victim lived if he was aware of her home address.
"I am satisfied that I should impose a Restraining Order on the defendant as I am satisfied it is necessary for the purpose of protecting the victim in this case from further conduct which amounts to harassment or a fear of violence", he said.

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