Northern Ireland

Hepatitis C carrier jailed for biting partner

Laganside Courts

A Hepatitis C carrier who bit his partner's ear, nose and toe after she woke him from a drink and drug induced sleep, has been jailed for six years.

Martin Reid, 47, pleaded guilty to wounding his partner with intent to cause her grievous bodily harm.

He further admitted falsely imprisoning the woman, causing criminal damage to police property and assaulting a female PSNI officer.

A judge described the attack as "brutal, degrading and sustained''.

Belfast Crown Court heard that Reid, whose address was given as Maghaberry Prison, subjected his girlfriend to a two-hour attack in September 2017.

Prevented from escaping

When police arrived at the house, they found the victim covered in blood and bleeding profusely from a head wound.

They also noted extensive blood splattering in the living room, bedroom and kitchen.

The court heard that during the attack, the victim was kicked numerous times to the head and body as well as being burned with cigarettes, urinated on and twice prevented from escaping.

The court was told Reid had a criminal record for attacks on female partners in 2008, 2011 and 2017.

In the 2011 incident, he bit off a portion of his then partner's nose.

His defence counsel told the court Reid was "remorseful'' and recognised the awful wrong he had done but "he does not know why he did the things he has done''.

He said the defendant's life took a downward spiral following the break-up of his marriage and the death of his son.

'Danger to the public'

Sentencing Reid, Judge Patricia Smyth told him: "She was punched and kicked to the head and you slapped her to the face.

"She required two staples to a head wound and she had to attend general practice services because you are a carrier of the Hepatitis C virus.

"No weapon was used, but you used your teeth to inflict harm.

"You also assaulted a police officer and you deliberately spat in her face, spraying her in the eyes.''

Referring to his previous convictions for attacking partners, the judge said: "It comes as no surprise that the probation service assess as you as danger to the public.''

Taking his guilty plea into account which she said "showed evidence of remorse'', the judge told Reid: "I consider an extended custodial sentence of six years is appropriate in this case.''.

After serving his six years in custody, Reid will spend a further three years on supervised licence, and would be subjected to conditions by the parole commissioners.

Judge Smyth granted a restraining order against Reid who was told that he was "not to contact his victim, either directly or indirectly''.