Blackburn man who assaulted his sister spared jail

Blackburn Citizen: Sharon O’Callaghan shows off the horrific injuries she suffered at the hands of her brother Stephen O’Callaghan Sharon O’Callaghan shows off the horrific injuries she suffered at the hands of her brother Stephen O’Callaghan

A MAN who knocked his sister unconscious, leaving her with a ‘nasty’ black eye, broken nose and injuries to her jaw that are still healing seven months later, has avoided going to jail.

The court heard that 32-year-old Stephen O’Callaghan, of Laxey Road, punched his sister to the ground in the home that he shares with his mother.

Stephen, his girlfriend Alexea Gordon and his sister Sharon O’Callaghan were drinking vodka when he began arguing with his girlfriend after she received a text message from a former boyfriend.

Sharon found herself involved in the argument and followed her brother into the kitchen and the pair shouted at each other before Sharon struck a blow to her brother’s face, the court was told.

Stephen hit his sister back, leaving her unconscious on the kitchen floor.

Medical evidence was reviewed by the court, along with photographs of Sharon’s injuries and a letter from her, detailing how she has suffered panic attacks at the thought of bumping into her brother since the assault.

In the letter, Sharon also detailed how the assault had led to a ‘split’ in her family that has left her devastated after her mother refused to make a statement against her son and stand by her.

Judge Anna Vigars said: “You attacked your own sister who has an eight-year old son and while it’s not clear whether or not he saw the attack, he was definitely around.

“You know that your actions were wrong. You caused a laceration to her head that has left her with permanent scars so she has a daily reminder of what her brother did to her.”

The court heard that O’Callaghan had previously been imprisoned after pleading guilty to assaulting an ex-partner in 2007 and had also been convicted of battery in 2006.

Judge Vigars said: “Although Stephen has not been convicted since 2007, the police have been called 10 times to violent disturbances of a domestic nature from 2007 to 2013.”

He was sentenced to 12 months in custody, suspended for 18 months and ordered to do 150 hours of unpaid work.

The judge said that this sentence was awarded because of his ‘obvious remorse’ and the fact that he had attended a ‘Make a Change’ course at the Wish Centre in Blackburn in December.

Judge Vigars also imposed a restraining order that means he cannot contact his sister at all and is forbidden from the road she lives in for the next two years.

She said: “This is to provide some protection for your sister. The fact that you attended the course shows that you want to change and feel remorse for what you did.”

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