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Female who was with drinkers at Mountsandel Wood in Coleraine was badly beaten after she tried to get her mobile phone back

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A female who was part of a group drinking at Mountsandel Wood in Coleraine was kicked in the face in a “cowardly” attack when she tried to retrieve her mobile phone, a court has heard.

The female was set upon by two of those she had been with and her injuries included black eyes, minor head injuries, an injury to her nose and bruising.

One of the attackers – Stephanie McKee – has now appeared at Coleraine Magistrates Court.

In January this year the 20-year-old, whose address was given as Fairway in Larne, was convicted in her absence at court of charges of assault and theft of a mobile phone.

Now, the court heard McKee contacted police on March 3 and asked if she could be arrested on the warrant.

A prosecutor said an incident happened in August 2016 when the injured party joined with others who were drinking at Mountsandel.

McKee had the female’s phone and would not return it.

The victim was then “set upon” by McKee and another person and was pulled to the ground.

McKee sat on her stomach and pinned her hands down whilst the other person “kicked her face and head” and
McKee then punched the victim on the face.

The victim was getting a train to Ballymena and concerned staff at Coleraine Railway Station saw her in a distressed state.

She was taken to hospital and police were called.

The court heard the victim was left “very shaken” and is now afraid to go out alone.

A prosecutor said there was a follow-up incident when the victim had a chance encounter with McKee in Ballymena and the defendant had demanded that a statement to police be withdrawn.

A defence lawyer said there had been no more contact between the two.

District Judge Liam McNally said he considered jailing McKee but at the time of the offence she had a clear record.

He said it was a “terrible assault” and a “cowardly attack” by the defendant and her friend.

Handing down a four months sentence, suspended for two years, the judge ordered that McKee pays £200 compensation to the victim.

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