Friday 20 April 2018

Reality TV star Jeremy McConnell spared jail for assaulting Stephanie Davis

Jeremy McConnell had denied the attack
Jeremy McConnell had denied the attack

Reality TV star Jeremy McConnell has been spared jail after assaulting his ex-girlfriend, Stephanie Davis.

Former Hollyoaks star Miss Davis said McConnell had also threatened to throw acid in her face during the drink and drug-fuelled bust-up at her home in Rainhill, Merseyside, England, on March 10.

McConnell, from Swords, Dublin, first met his former partner after they appeared together on Celebrity Big Brother.

He had denied the attack, branding her a "blatant liar", but was convicted of assaulting Miss Davis, mother of his child, during a trial earlier this week at Liverpool Magistrates' Court.

On Friday, he was sentenced to 20 weeks, suspended for 12 months, and 200 hours' community service.

During the trial, the judge was shown photos of a bruise that Miss Davis said was caused by McConnell biting her arm, as well as extensive bruises to her legs and body.

The defendant called her a "fat slag" during the domestic abuse, the court heard.

Passing sentence, District Judge Wendy Lloyd told McConnell he had shown no remorse and attacked his ex as she held their baby in her arms after he had taken alcohol and cocaine.

She told him: "If you get yourself into such a state then you have to accept responsibility for it.

"The most important part is you are a young man of 27 of previous good character."

Judge Lloyd also imposed a restraining order on McConnell for three years, banning him from contacting Miss Davis except through intermediaries and for the purpose of contact with their child.

He was also given four weeks' jail, suspended for 12 months, to run concurrently with his 20-week sentence, after pleading guilty at an earlier hearing to criminal damage to her patio doors and ordered to pay £1,000 in court costs, £1,000 in compensation to Miss Davis and a victim's surcharge of £115.

James Morris, mitigating for McConnell, told the court the Dubliner's tough upbringing and a series of personal family tragedies had left him with "demons".

Mr Morris said: "It's extremely sad when relationships break down. It's fair to say this was a volatile relationship where accusations of infidelity reared their ugly heads on a regular basis.

"Mr McConnell had a difficult upbringing in Dublin. His mother, he lost his mother at the age of 15, and in the same year, a brother and sister. His father was left as a single parent who had to bring up family on his own.

"There is bereavement issues that Mr McConnell has not dealt with.

"Mr McConnell sadly lost his father this year and attended his father's funeral with Miss Davis, three days prior to this incident, and was in a very low frame of mind in the days leading up to this incident.

"Mr McConnell clearly has had a number of demons in his past that needs to be addressed."

Mr Morris said the defendant had attended Smarmore Castle, a private rehab clinic in Ireland, to be treated for "chemical dependency" and he was now free of cocaine use.

In a victim impact statement read to the court, Miss Davis, who was not present, said: "This incident has made me feel a nervous wreck.

"Every time I hear a loud noise I panic.

"I have to take anti-depressants.

"I feel like I'm drowning. I feel helpless like the whole world is against me and I feel alone and this has affected how I live my life.

"I feel numb inside and just want this nightmare to be over."

The court heard since writing the statement the couple were briefly reconciled, while McConnell was in rehab, but the relationship has broken down again.

Earlier, the trial heard the couple had been out for a meal with friends in Liverpool to celebrate Miss Davis's 24th birthday on March 9 but when they returned home, McConnell had left to go to the pub with two of the friends.

Miss Davis said when he got back to the house at about midnight he was "out of it" and had been taking cocaine.

She said: "He was calling me a slag. He said that I was fat, he said that no-one was going to want to touch me again."

Miss Davis said McConnell left the house but later returned and began kicking the doors in an attempt to get in.

She continued: "I heard him go over the gate, it was literally like a horror film.

"I just thought, 'this is it, he's going to kill me'."

She said she let him in after fearing he would smash the glass patio doors and he followed her upstairs, where she was in the bedroom holding their eight-week-old son Caben-Albi.

"All I was thinking is how do I get Caben away. He could have killed him," Miss Davis added.

McConnell punched her on the side of the head and pushed her against the wall twice as she held their son, the court heard.

He had accused her of having affairs with her pregnant friend and with a fireman who lived nearby.

Miss Davis said McConnell, who she described as "psychotic", left the house but returned again, this time snapping handles off the patio doors of the house to get in.

He was apologetic about his earlier behaviour and threatened to smash a bottle of wine over his own head.

Her mother then arrived, having been called by a friend of Miss Davis.

McConnell told the court he was defending himself against Miss Davis, who attacked him after learning he had taken cocaine.

Press Association

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