Ex-soldier jailed for ‘vicious and degrading’ assault

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A former soldier has been jailed for 12 months for what a judge described as a “persistent, vicious and degrading’’ assault on his former partner.

Desmond John William Lundy, 37, of Crumlin Road, north Belfast, pleaded guilty at Belfast Crown Court to assault occasioning actual bodily harm and making threats to kill on his ex-girlfriend.

The court heard that the couple had attended a neighbour’s house party and Lundy had become agitated after consuming alcohol.

Prosecution lawyer Gareth Purvis said a friend accompanied them home but Lundy had “feigned that he had calmed down’’ and then locked the front door to prevent his partner from leaving.

He said Lundy then assaulted her and grabbed her by the throat before she escaped and ran upstairs and locked herself in the bathroom.

Judge Stephen Fowler QC heard that the defendant tried to gain entry by kicking the door before lighting something outside. “Smoke started to come inside the bathroom, choking her.”

The barrister added: “The victim opened the door and the defendant came in and wrapped a shower hose around her neck.’’

She managed to get out of the bathroom and ran into the bedroom only for Lundy to “grab her by the throat for a second time”.

“She tried to run for the stairs but he grabbed her by the hair and trailed her down the stairs and told her ‘You are not getting out of here’ and ‘I will f***ing kill you’.’’

The court heard the victim escaped from the house on the pretext of needing to go a nearby shop to buy an electricity card.

Lundy followed her, the court was told, and his partner went into an off licence where she told a member of staff “not to buzz him in’’ and instead phone the police.

However, she later left the shop and was assaulted by Lundy, who threw her to the ground and kicked her in the face and stamped on her hand.

When police arrived on the Crumlin Road, Lundy was arrested and his partner was described by police to have been in a “dishevelled state’’.

The judge was told that Lundy had 38 previous convictions for offences of criminal damage, disorderly behaviour, and assaults on police.

Defence barrister Richard McConkey said Lundy had been in the British Army for eight years and had spent a number of tours of duty in Bosnia and Kosovo.

He told the judge the defendant had later been diagnosed with post traumatic distress disorder “probably as a result of the terrible things he saw while serving his country’’.

He added that the “domestic background to the case had been problematic’’ and said Lundy was “not somebody habitually before the courts for assaulting his former partner’’.

Judge Fowler QC sentenced Lundy to three years, stating one year would be spent in custody with a further two years on supervised licence on his release with the recommendation that he attends a Probation Service domestic abuse programme.