Belfast: Man who threatened to slit ex-partner's throat jailed

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A man who threatened to slit his ex-partner's throat if she called the police after he assaulted her has been jailed for two years and five months.

Patrick Connor Doherty, 29, will spend a similar period on licence.

Doherty pleaded guilty to charges of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, possession of an offensive weapon and possession of a prohibited weapon.

He also admitted three counts of assault on police officers, criminal damage and a domestic abuse offence.

Court heard that police were called to a domestic incident at the victim's home in Belfast on 30 May 2023.

At the time, Doherty was the subject of a Non-Molestation Order (NMO) in favour of the victim.

Multiple assaults

On arrival at the house, police separated Doherty from the victim.

The injured party outlined that the defendant had punched her twice on the arm and told her she could not attend a concert with her friends.

He then punched her several times in the face causing bruising, swelling and a laceration above her right eye.

Doherty would not allow her to seek assistance despite the fact she was bleeding heavily.

He refused to let her leave the property, swinging a hammer and narrowly missing her legs.

The defendant produced pepper spray which he claimed he would use on police.

Then, Doherty threatened to slit the victim's throat with a flick knife if she called the police.

The victim said she had been assaulted by Doherty in the previous week and also received abusive text messages.


During the arrest, police were forced to put limb restraints on Doherty along with a bite and spit guard. He sustained a cut to his head after repeatedly banging it off the wall of the cell van.

During police interviews he claimed that, after an argument, the victim pulled a knife on him and he defended himself by pushing her over, which caused the injuries.

He denied threatening to kill her and threatening members of her family.

The court heard Doherty has 30 previous convictions with a history of breaching NMO, common assaults, breach of restraining orders and harassment

He was the subject of three suspended sentences, including a ten-month sentence suspended for three years handed down in October 2020.

In a pre-sentence report, the Probation Board assessed that Doherty had a high likelihood of reoffending but did not pose a danger to the public.

His barrister accepted that the case crossed the custody threshold but urged the court to "exercise as much compassion and leniency as is possible''.

Imposing the four-year sentence, Judge McColgan also activated the ten month suspended sentence.