Man who threw partner onto the bed by her throat avoids prison

A County Antrim man whose assault on his partner was only ended by the sound of her child crying elsewhere in the house has escaped a custodial sentence.

Nathan Adger, with an address given as Warden Square, Ballymena, County Antrim, appeared for sentencing at Magherafelt Magistrates Court on Wednesday in connection with the incident on September 28 2021.

The case had been adjourned to allow a pre-sentence report to be completed on the defendant, a report by Judge Mullan described as ‘concerning’.

Police had been called to reports of a domestic disturbance by a neighbour, at which the injured party said she had been assaulted by Adger.

The then-couple had been arguing about the injured party being in contact with her ex-partner, when the defendant repeatedly pushed onto her bed.

The court heard he then got on top of her, placing his hand on her throat and squeezing, before grabbing her by the throat and throwing her onto the bed three times.

Adger then hit the injured party in the ribs, before placing a duvet over her head and punching her through it.

The assault only ended when the defendant heard the injured party’s child crying from another room in the house.

At interview, the defendant became tearful and said he had anger management issues and anxiety, and said he had forgotten to take his medication.

He admitted pushing the injured party, but said he had ‘blacked out’ and had no recollection of the remainder of the incident.

Adger told police he had been having these ‘black outs’ for around five months, but had not yet disclosed this to his GP.

At the time of the incident, the defendant was subject to a combination order.

Judge Mullan said a line in the pre-sentence report that Adger quoted as saying the injured party had ‘pushed his buttons’ was concerning and said it appeared he was seeking to minimize his actions.

Defense said this was not the case, but conceded the facts did not ‘make good reading’. They said he was suffering ‘black outs’ and that his mental health had deteriorated considerably.

The judge said her initial feeling had been to impose a custodial sentence, but said that, provided the defendant committed to engaging with probation, she would impose a combination order.

She ordered Adger to be subject to a two-year probation order, and imposed 100 hours of community service.

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