‘Outrageous’ attack on pregnant ex-partner

Court
Court

A court has heard how a pregnant woman was left “terrified” after being attacked by her former partner.

Stephen Martin William Witherspoon (27), of Ballycraigy Ring in Larne, attacked his ex-partner when she was 35 weeks pregnant and told her: “I will burn your house out”.

The defendant grabbed her by the neck and began to choke her and punched her on the side of the head.

Defence barrister Neil Moore said there were “mental health and educational issues”.

He claimed Witherspoon had been involved in a “very toxic and at times complicated relationship”.

He told the court that the defendant has had no contact with his former partner since the incident on April 20 this year and she had now given birth.

Mr Moore said Witherspoon was “deeply regretful and remorseful”.

The lawyer told Ballymena Magistrates Court: “He is disgusted at his behaviour.”

Mr Moore said a person could not “lay hands on a lady in any regard let alone a pregnant lady”.

Witherspoon was in the dock at the court last Thursday for sentencing on charges of assault, making a threat to damage property, driving while disqualified and using a vehicle without insurance.

Mr Moore said a vehicle had been at the defendant’s property and there was always going to be a temptation to use it after he was previously disqualified.

Jailing the defendant for three months, District Judge Peter King said the attack was “completely and utterly outrageous”.

Witherspoon was also banned from driving for two years.

He was released on £500 bail pending appeal.