Troubled man admits assault on woman and hammer attack

Troubled man admits assault on woman and hammer attack

11 May 2022

A NEWCASTLE man who admitted wounding and assault charges had a “traumatic background”, a  judge has said.

Gerard Macklin (46), of Bracken Avenue, was handed a 21-month suspended jail sentence at Downpatrick Crown Court last Friday.

Macklin admitted two counts of assaulting a woman and further charges of maliciously wounding a man, possession of offensive weapons — namely two hammers and a screwdriver — and possession of cannabis.

The court was told Macklin was originally from Belfast and had suffered a number of tragedies in his life.

His sister was murdered by loyalist terrorists and his brother was murdered by republican terrorists.

He was also the victim of a paramilitary shooting and was on constant medication for his injuries.

Judge Geoffrey Miller said it was ironic that Macklin had moved from west Belfast to Newcastle “in the hope of finding a quieter life”.

The court, sitting in Belfast, heard that Macklin threw a cup of tea over a woman and also grabbed her throat during two separate incidents in July last year.

Outlining the events, Judge Miller said the woman told a male about what had happened and he then went to Macklin’s house.

The judge said Macklin feared the man was going to attack him with a baseball bat and armed himself with the hammers and screwdriver.

He said Macklin struck the man several times, causing cuts to his head and legs, although there was no evidence he used the hammers and screwdriver in the attack.

The judge said there were claims that the woman was heavily intoxicated, but Macklin accepted, through his guilty plea, that his behaviour was “utterly inappropriate”.

He said Macklin, a father-of-four, had a “long-term addiction to alcohol”, but was being helped overcome his addiction by his children.

Noting that Macklin had 46 previous convictions, Judge Miller said he was assessed as having a medium likelihood of reoffending.

He added that the custody threshold had been passed, but there were “extenuating circumstances” which justified suspending the prison sentence.”