Chef jailed for Boxing Day attack on girlfriend

A chef who knocked his girlfriend's tooth out in a Boxing Day attack has been jailed for four months.

Belfast Magistrates’ Court heard 50-year-old Emmet Knowles punched the woman during a violent outburst at her home in the north of the city.

Knowles, originally from Carrickfergus but now living at Neptune Street in London, pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm and criminal damage to a television set.

Sending him to prison, District Judge Harry McKibbin said: “This was an appalling offence against this poor lady.”

Police went to the victim’s home after she made a 999 call on Tuesday.

The woman told officers Knowles had struck her on the face and knocked her TV over.

“She had a bloodied face and a missing tooth,” a prosecution lawyer said.

When arrested Knowles at first claimed he had fallen into the television after being pushed by an “unknown person”.

Defence solicitor Conor Heaney stressed his client’s clear record over the past 30 years.

“He worked as a chef at various establishments in London before being made redundant,” Mr Heaney said.

The court heard Knowles suffers from chronic sciatica and had returned to Northern Ireland to spend the Christmas period at the victim’s house.

Mr Heaney acknowledged: “That relationship is now at an end.

“Throughout the evening the injured party and the defendant were drinking quite extensively in her home.

“There was an argument... which resulted in physical contact between him and her.

“He accepts he would have struck out at her as he was pushed into a television, and accepts being reckless in damaging the television set.”

Mr McKibbin was urged to limit any sentence so Knowles could return to London in time for a January appointment connected to his benefits.

But the judge ordered: “I’m going to impose four months imprisonment now.”