A man who attacked and urinated on his girlfriend outside a Belfast nightclub has been given 100 hours community service.
Matthew McIlroy, 22, was also ordered to complete 12 months probation and fined £350 for what the judge described as an act of degradation.
McIlroy, of Paisleys Road in Carrickfergus, pleaded guilty to charges of indecent behaviour and common assault. He also admitted a further count of causing criminal damage to his now ex-partner’s clothing.
Belfast Magistrates’ Court heard how the incident occurred as the couple rowed outside El Divino nightclub at Mays Meadow in the city on July 2. McIlroy was said to have urinated at one point, with the allegation that he deliberately targeted the victim.
Door staff intervened before he then ran up and punched her in the face, causing bruising to her eye. Following his arrest McIlroy insisted that he had accidentally urinated on his girlfriend as he was being wrestled to the ground.
Defence counsel Michael Loughrey said: “He maintains he did it inadvertently. “However, it’s accepted that whether it was a deliberate act by him or not, the impact on the injured party would have been very distressing.”
Mr Loughrey emphasised that his client wanted to publicly apologise for what happened. “The relationship is over,” he confirmed.
“From what I understand the injured party has moved on with her life ... and Mr McIlroy wishes to move on with his.”
Passing sentence, the judge told the defendant: “There’s an element of degradation involved in this. “You are, to say the least, a well-built man. When you have the personal strength you do, it’s just a most distressing incident.”
Deciding not to jail McIlroy for the assault and criminal damage, the judge instead imposed community service and probation to include one-to-one sessions of respectful relationships. He fined him for the indecent behaviour after referring to the “revulsion” at the aggravating feature involved in the offence.