Slapped woman on face 'to calm her down'

Rape accused appears in court

The case was heard at Craigavon Magistrates' Court.

Staff reporter

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A 54-year-old man, who slapped a female on the face to calm her down, has been jailed for six months pending appeal.

The case of Petras Sakavicius, of Union Street, Craigavon, was heard at Craigavon Courthouse sitting on Wednesday, May 4.

The court heard that on between the dates of July 14 to July 17 last year, police received a report from the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service about an assault that occurred.

Officers spoke to the injured party who explained in broken English that she had been assaulted by her friend’s brother. On July 21, the complainant attended Lurgan Station and provided a statement and identified the male involved as the defendant.

She explained that whilst she was at her friend’s house, the defendant argued with her before striking her several times to the face with an open hand and kicking her in the abdomen.

On October 17, Sakavicius was spoken to and cautioned, and during a voluntary interview, he made admissions to slapping the injured party during an argument to get her to stop being hysterical but denied kicking or hitting her with any force.

Despite none of the facts being read out, the defendant also pleaded guilty to possessing a Class B controlled drug, namely amphetamines, on January 12 this year.

In his defence, the court was told that Sakavicius is under a suspended custodial sentence for three years back in November 2019. It was added that the defendant is not simply abusing within a family home but rather it was a case of where he went with his brother to another house and the injured party became aggressive and slapped her to calm her down.

It was explained that this wasn’t the right decision to take and the drug matter as his record doesn’t touch on previous offence. A defence solicitor further outlined that Sakavicius works full-time in a factory and that he can do community service if required to do so.

District Judge Bernie Kelly said: “A combination of you appearing here on a suspended prison sentence for an assault and having several offences before the court, together with the fact you actually don’t think there’s anything wrong with slapping a woman leaves me with no option but to certify the associated offences as so serious there is only one sentence I can impose.”

For the drug plea, the Judge imposed a one month custodial sentence for the offence.

Regarding the assault, a three month custodial sentence was imposed, as well as invoking the suspended sentence for a period of two months.

All custodial sentences are to run consecutively with each other, making it a total of six months in prison.

An application for bail to fix appeal was granted with Sakavicius released on his own bail of £500 with stringent conditions in place.

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