A MAN who put a pillow over his partner’s face and threatened to suffocate her then turned to their daughter and said: “You are going to hear mummy’s last breath,” a court was told on Tuesday.
Antrim Crown Court in Ballymena, heard the incident happened in the Ballymoney area last year and that Gareth Reid (25), who had spent four months in custody on remand, was put on Probation for two years for assaulting his partner Victoria Tweed and making threats to kill her.
He had originally been charged with attempted murder and after the incident had been admitted to a psychiatric unit in Coleraine.
A prosecutor said that on July 9 last year police received a 999 call from a neighbour who said they could hear a female screaming. Victoria Tweed then told police she had her child in his arms and had an argument with her partner about him smoking cannabis around their five month old child.
She said Reid struck her on the face, grabbed her by the throat before trying to suffocate her with a pillow which he moved when he said he wanted to “watch her die” before turning to the child and saying: “You are going to hear mummy’s last breath”.
However, she was able to escape downstairs where her screaming alerted neighbours.
The prosecutor said it was a “very frightening experience” for the injured party.
Defence said Reid’s substance abuse contributed to difficulties in the relationship and he said his client had a “short loss of control”.
Judge Desmond Marrinan said the court must never condone attacks like this but after considering everything, including a reference from a Maghaberry Prison chaplain and noting that the defendant had already spent four months in custody, he ordered Reid to be put on Probation for two years. He said Probation would help Reid to “deal with issues like aggression and ensure you have some awareness of the fear that was engendered in Ms Tweed.”