If you like our news articles, subscribe here to receive our newsletter.

District Judge, Barney McElholm has recently criticised restricted sentencing powers for domestic violence cases as “woefully inadequate”.

District Judge McElholm voiced his concerns at Londonderry Magistrates’ Court after sentencing a man who had grabbed his former partner by the throat during a violent attack. He sentenced the Defendant to five months imprisonment, suspended for three years, but commented that he should have the powers to be able to issue a longer sentence. District Judge McElholm expressed his concerns with the gap in current legislation regarding these types of offences.

The Judge also imposed a Restraining Order for a five-year period after the Defendant admitted assaulting his ex-partner. He admitted spitting in his partner's face, throwing her to the floor, pulling her hair and grabbing her by the throat.

Jan Melia, the CEO of Women's Aid Federation Northern Ireland, welcomed the comments by Judge McElholm, and described it as shocking that the courts were forced to treat this kind of crime as mere assault.

Edwards & Co is certified as a ‘Safe Place’ for victims of Domestic Violence, therefore, if you have any enquiries please do not hesitate to contact Carla Fraser for assistance at Carla.fraser@edwardsandcompany.co.uk


Chambers 2020 Logo