Belfast man who smashed up ex-partner’s home escapes jail


A leisure centre attendant who smashed up his ex-partner’s home with a hammer in an alleged jealous row over her mobile phone has avoided being sent to jail.

Thomas Conlon received a four-month suspended prison sentence after a judge heard he was “ranting like a madman” and had to be sprayed with CS gas.

Conlon, 31, of Springhill Grove in Belfast, was convicted of causing more than £1,000 criminal damage and possession of an offensive weapon in public.

He was arrested after police were called to an address in the city on March 28 this year.

Belfast Magistrates’ Court heard he had been angrily questioning his former partner about the contents of her phone before allegedly breaking it.

A prosecution lawyer said when the woman challenged Conlon he armed himself with a hammer and smashed a large number of items in the house.

Windows and interior walls were also damaged.

Officers who arrived at the scene and discovered him still carrying the hammer had to deploy CS spray, the prosecutor added.

She confirmed the criminal damage is estimated to be in excess of £1,000.

Defence solicitor Ciaran Toner said Conlon is addicted to prescription drugs and trying to deal with the break-up of a long-term relationship.

“He was in the house when an argument ensued and he simply says that under the influence of prescription medication he started smashing items,” Mr Toner explained.

“When police called he was ‘ranting like a madman’ to use his own words.”

Imposing a four-month prison sentence, the District Judge suspended the term for 12 months.

He also ordered Conlon to pay £300 compensation to the victim.