A member of the travelling community was sentenced on Friday to a total of 12 years for a “sustained’’ bottle attack on his partner and also threatening to kill her.
Brian Mongan, 41, of St Agnes Place, Belfast, was told he will serve nine years in custody and a further three years on an extended licence period after a judge found he posed a “significant risk of serious harm’’ to the public in the future.
He had pleaded guilty on the morning his trial was due to start at Belfast Crown Court to wounding with intent to inflict grievous bodily harm to his partner Julie Nevin and making a threat to kill her.
Prosecution lawyer David Russell said the couple had been out drinking in bars in Belfast city centre in March last year before returning to her flat on the Antrim Road in north Belfast.
He said an argument developed between the pair and Mongan “lunged forward, grabbed Miss Nevin by the hair and dragged her down and started striking her about the face and head with a bottle of Budweiser’’.
Mr Russesll added: “That assault was quite sustained and continued in the bedroom with Miss Nevin putting up her hands and arms in a bid to protect herself.
“From the injuries she sutained the bottle was broken but it was not broken when the assault started. After the attack, he would not let her leave the flat or seek medical assistance.
“She was terrified of him but managed to make a break for freedom and got outside where she phoned the police.’’
Belfast Recorder Judge David McFarland was told that when police arrived around 10.30pm, Miss Nevin claimed that three masked men had entered her flat and assaulted her.
“However,’’ said Mr Russell, “she later told police the truth of what happened.’’
The court heard that in the early hours of the following morning Miss Nevin received a text message from Mongan which stated: “Don’t be calling the police now or me and the boys will wrap you up and put you in a hole.’’
Mr Russell said the victim sustained a “deep laceration’’ to her forehead which needed seven stitches and a further two stitches to a cut lip.
“She also sustained bruising to her left eye which was so swollen she couldn’t open it. She also sustained bruising to her other eye and her scalp.’’
Mongan was arrested at his home and during police interviews he denied going to her flat or assaulting Miss Nevin.
The court was told that a “heavily blood stained’’ blue T-shirt was recovered from his home and a forensic analysis found the blood belonged to his partner.
Judge McFarland heard that Mongan had a substantial criminal record and at the time of the assault was on bail for making a previous threat to kill against Ms Nevin in January 2014.
On that occasion, the court heard, he had told her: “I am going to kill you, put you in a bag in the ground and bury you.’’
Defence QC Peter Irvine said Mongan had a history of alcohol abuse and said the argument in the flat arose after Ms Nevin had accused him of “running about with other women’’ and that he was “effectively two-timing her’’.
He said Mongan was “deeply remorseful’’ for the attack and had written his victim a letter from prison to express his remorse.
“She wrote back to him stating: ‘I don’t blame you for all the fights we have had. I have started some of them. I can’t blame you for everything’.”
Judge David McFarland said Mongan posed a “significant risk to people in the domestic situation’’ given this attack, his criminal record for previous assaults, including onr for grievous bodily harm, and his repeated breaches of non-molestation orders.
“In all the circumstances, I do find that you are dangerous. I am satisfied that an extended period in custody is quite appropriate to protect the public.
“The main aggravating factor is that you carried out this sustained assault while you were on bail for making a threat to kill Ms Nevin.’’
The Belfast Recorder sentenced Mongan to a total of 12 years, nine years of which is to be spent in custody with an extended licence period of three years following his release from prison.