Detectives from the Police Service of Northern Ireland’s Public Protection Branch have welcomed two separate sentences, both handed down yesterday (Wednesday 10 March) and both in relation to domestic assaults.
Gareth Morrow, aged 29, was sentenced at Antrim Crown Court for grievous bodily harm with intent and assault on police. The victim, an ex-partner, was subjected to a brutal attack during which she was stabbed 24 times and subsequently sustained life-changing injuries. The assault took place in Coleraine in October 2019.
Morrow was given an extended custodial sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment and five years on licence for grievous bodily harm with intent, and a 10-month concurrent sentence for assault on police.
In a separate sentencing, 24-year-old Joel Hawthorne, was sentenced at Belfast Crown Court for assault occasioning actual bodily harm, threats to kill and criminal damage in relation to a domestic assault in Greenisland in October 2019. Hawthorne was given a determinate custodial sentence of two years three months, with three months in custody and two years on licence.
Detective Constable Harvey from the Public Protection Branch said: “Domestic abuse is a disturbing, and often hidden, crime that can affect anyone. I’m keen to acknowledge the strength and courage of the two victims, and to thank them for coming forward. While today’s sentencings will, of course, never make up for the sheer trauma, distress and pain experienced, I hope that some degree of reassurance has been given.
“I also hope that such tremendous courage is inspirational to anyone else who may have suffered, or who may be suffering, in silence. Please come forward and speak to our detectives, who will treat you with sensitivity and respect at every step of the way. Call 101 or in an emergency call 999.”