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Driver did u-turn before shouting ‘kill’ threat whilst kicking ex-partner’s BMW

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A MOTORIST who did a u-turn after spotting his ex-partner driving in north Antrim blocked an exit when she pulled into a yard and then kicked her vehicle whilst shouting he would kill her, a prosecutor told Coleraine Magistrates Court.

A short time later on the same morning – January 25 last year – Matthew McNeill (34), whose address was given as Straid Road near Ballycastle – then overtook the woman again and drove slowly forcing her to stop before he kicked a quarter panel leaving a footprint.

Children were in the woman’s car at the time. McNeill was at court this week for sentencing on charges of causing criminal damage to a BMW and two breaches of Non-Molestation Orders.

Defence barrister Nicola Rountree said since the incidents McNeill had been undergoing anger management. The lawyer said there had been an “extremely acrimonious separation”.

District Judge Liam McNally said the offences happened within two weeks of McNeill being in court for assaulting the same woman and he had been given a three months jail term, suspended for 18 months.

He told the defendant: “Within two weeks you are out kicking her car, following her around, doing this in front of your children”. The court was told there had been no further trouble and McNeill had attended a number of ‘Relate’ sessions on domestic abuse.

Judge McNally said rather than jail McNeill he would give him a chance to prove the sessions were having an effect.

He ordered the defendant to pay £100 compensation for the damage.

He deferred sentence for a year and said if there was further offending and no voluntary engagement with Probation the alternative would be at least eight months in prison.

The judge also imposed a two year Restraining Order on McNeill.

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