Northern Ireland

County Tyrone man broke mother's finger over bank card

A Tyrone man who twice attacked his mother has walked free from court.

Francis Devine, from Millside Crescent Park in Claudy, broke his mother's finger in one attack and burnt her arm in a second assault.

The 20-year-old pleaded guilty to causing actual bodily harm to Jacqueline Devine on 28 March and 17 June last year.

Devine was sentenced to a two-year probation order and will do 80 hours community service.

Dungannon Crown Court Judge Stephen Fowler QC also imposed a two-year restraining order, barring Devine from seeing his mother.

Judge Fowler told Devine he was "extremely lucky" to avoid jail, that his actions amounted to "domestic violence" and that he had "bullied and intimidated" his mother in her own home.

The court, sitting in Belfast, heard that Devine broke his mother's finger by bending it back while trying to get a bank card he had asked her to look after back.

In the second incident Devine poured a petrol canister over his mother's partner's van but during a struggle some was poured on her arm. When he threw a lighter at the van, she went on fire as well, leaving her with a large blister on her arm.

Defence lawyer Sean Dillon said his client was "ashamed and disgusted" at his behaviour which had come as a result of drink and drug abuse but that since then, he had abstained from both.