Man attacked and punched his heavily pregnant ex-partner

Man attacked and punched his heavily pregnant ex-partner

8 May 2019

A HEAVILY pregnant Newcastle woman was punched and knocked down by her partner before he damaged a Moses basket bought for their unborn child, Downpatrick Crown Court has heard.

The 36 year-old man used a bottle to hit the 38-week pregnant woman and then went into the woman’s daughter’s bedroom where he spat at the young girl and woman as the child hid under her bed cover.

Daniel Gibney, of Baltic Avenue, Belfast, pleaded guilty last week to two charges of assault and a further count of causing criminal damage at a house in Newcastle on April 8 last year.

A Crown barrister told Judge Piers Grant that Gibney stormed out of the home he shared with his partner and her daughter after the couple had a row and the woman had told him not to 

come back.

The prosecutor said he returned around 5am when the woman heard a loud banging at the back door. Gibney demanded to be allowed back in and for the woman to order a taxi for him.

However, the barrister said that once inside, Gibney lost his temper and pushed the woman who fell to the floor. He then punched her in the face, kicked her in the tailbone and hit her with the bottle.

When the woman ran to get away from him, Gibney followed her upstairs to her daughter’s bedroom where he threw the child’s PlayStation to the floor and shouted at the child and her mother before spitting at them.

The barrister said that when Gibney came downstairs he damaged a television, a Moses basket and four packets of nappies that had been set aside in preparation for the new arrival. 

He also smashed eggs around the houses, the prosecutor continued.

She said that the aggravating factors in the “abuse of trust” incident were that it happened in the woman’s home where she could expect to feel safe when she was “pregnant and vulnerable” and in front of her young daughter.

The prosecutor added that Gibney was located by police a short time later and had been assaulted by another party in the interim.

She said that the woman went into labour a few hours after the assault and had her baby 19 days early. 

It was discovered after the birth that she suffered bruising to her chin, legs and tailbone.

While Gibney’s defence barrister acknowledged the attack as a “very mean and unpleasant episode”, he said he was glad that the woman had since made a full recovery.

Describing Gibney as a “complex, anxious and depressed person”, he said he accepted that his time on remand was “a direct consequence of his own action” from had been a “previously good relationship” with the victim.

He also acknowledged that Gibney was in breach of a suspended sentence at the time of the assault arising out of assault case against his mother and sister in 2016.

The barrister told the court that apart from his client having an alcohol addiction and a low IQ, he had suffered significant setbacks in his personal life and had been the victim of assaults.

He added that Gibney was estranged from his ex-partner, his child and the rest of his family.

A number of assessments, include a victim impact statement, will be considered by Judge Piers Grant before sentencing takes place at Downpatrick Crown Court today.