A 33-year-old man with 160 criminal convictions was yesterday jailed for four years for a series of offences committed whilst he was under the influence of heroin.
Dean Thomas Nesbitt, 33, formerly of Glenvarna Drive in Newtownabbey, was handed an eight-year sentence for a string of offences including an assault on the 14-year-old daughter of his then girlfriend.
Nesbitt was handed the eight-year sentence at Belfast Crown Court – half of which will be served in Maghaberry Prison, with the remaining four years spent under supervised licensed parole upon his release.
Earlier this year, Nesbitt appeared in court where he faced 25 charges which were committed in a domestic context over a period spanning from December 2011 to February 2012.
During a two-week trial, Nesbitt pleaded guilty to some of the charges, was convicted of nine offences and was acquitted of eight others.
Some of the charges he was convicted of by the jury included assaulting his former girlfriend in her west Belfast home, occasioning her actual bodily harm, assaulting her teenage daughter and threatening to kill both the mother and daughter as well as several other family members.
The jury accepted that on December 24, 2011, Nesbitt smashed items in the woman’s bedroom with a plank of wood before throwing her on the bed, putting his hands around her neck and punching her in the face before leaving the house.
The following day – Christmas Day – Nesbitt sent her threatening texts.
In another incident which occurred on February 1, 2012, Nesbitt and the woman were involved in a domestic dispute, during which he grabbed the woman’s then 14-year-old daughter by the throat, walked her up the hall and pushed her against a door.
Five days later, Nesbitt and his partner became embroiled in another argument.
The teenager raised the alarm and when police arrived, Nesbitt was removed from the house and taken to the Royal Victoria Hospital, where he was treated for a self-inflicted wound to his neck. A bag of heroin was subsequently found in his wallet and when he realised the drugs were in the possession of police, Nesbitt attacked an officer.
The court heard Nesbitt was also charged over and admitted to four offences from March 26 last year which included handling stolen goods – namely a stolen Citroen car – possession of an offensive weapon and possession of class C drugs.
In addition, he pleaded guilty to a charge of burglary at a house on Belfast’s Cavehill Road on March 25, 2013.
Defence barrister Eugene Grant QC said the domestic offending which occurred between December 2011 and February 2012 “reflected a tempestuous and volatile relationship” which had since ended.
Mr Grant said his client has “psychological if not psychiatric issues”.