Portuguese man escapes jail for assault on girlfriend

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A bloodied and bruised woman followed into a Belfast bus station by her knife-brandishing boyfriend claimed he had beaten her all night, a court has heard.

Fabio Monteiro was given a four-month suspended prison sentence after he admitted carrying out the assault on Sunday.

The 27-year-old also pleaded guilty to possession of an offensive weapon in public.

Monteiro, a Portuguese national of no fixed abode, was arrested after police were called to the Europa Bus Centre on Glengall Street.

Belfast Magistrates’ Court heard his girlfriend said he had followed her there and tried to pull a knife on her.

The accused was detained and found to be carrying a Stanley Knife.

As he appeared in the dock a prosecution lawyer revealed: “Police observed dried blood and bruising on the injured party, who explained that (Monteiro) ‘had been beating me all night’.”

Michael Boyd, defending, responded that his client admitted a physical altercation took place following an argument, but denied any prolonged attack.

“He accepted he had a Stankey Knife in his pocket which he said had been in that coat for many months and had forgotten it was there,” the barrister added.

District Judge Fiona Bagnall was told Monteiro has been living with his sister since arriving in Northern Ireland seven months ago.

Examining the defendant’s criminal record in Portugal, Mrs Bagnall said it suggested someone with difficulty in managing relationships.

But giving credit for his early plea, she decided to suspend the four-month jail term for two years.