Man jailed for dragging woman by hair

Published Tuesday, 27 May 2014
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A man who assaulted a woman by dragging her around a bar by her hair has been jailed for four years at the Crown Court in Derry.

Man jailed for dragging woman by hair
Bonnes was described by the judge as 'dangerous'. (© UTV)

After his arrest, the 29-year-old bit the forearm of a civilian detention officer with such force that the officer had to hit him three times before he released his bite grip.

Rodney Bonnes, 29, from Melrose Terrace in the Waterside area of the city, was arrested by the police on 22 August, 2012, after randomly attacked the woman in an unprovoked assault in Downey's Bar in Shipquay Street.

When the police were called to the bar, Bonnes assaulted two of them and also resisted arrest before the police used CS spray to restrain and arrest him.

Bonnes, who had 71 previous convictions, 21 of which for assaults and three for threats to kill, admitted six charges linked to the assaults inside and outside the bar and in the city's Strand Road police station.

Inside the bar, he grabbed the woman without warning and head-butted her.

He then kicked and punched her to the floor before dragging by her hair around the bar.

He was pulled away by his girlfriend but he returned to his victim, who was lying helpless on the floor, and kicked her again.

She was later treated in hospital for multiple bruising and swelling.

When the police arrived, Bonnes attacked two officers outside the bar, punching one of them on the lip. The assaults inside and outside the bar were all recorded on CCTV.

In the custody suite at the police station Bonnes tried to bite a civilian detention officer.

Judge Philip Babington said: "As his handcuffs were being changed he was being restrained by the officer, amongst others, when he bit the officer on the left forearm. The civilian officer was forced to strike the defendant three times in order to make him release his teeth which were clamped into his arm.

"Blood, not surprisingly, was drawn and it was necessary for the officer to attend the accident and emergency department where the wound was dressed. He was also treated with antibiotics and had to have a tetanus immunisation."

Bonnes has been assessed as posing a high likelihood of future re-offending and as posing a significant risk of causing serious harm.

"In other words the Probation Board of Northern Ireland had assessed him as being dangerous", Judge Babington said.

He told Bonnes that his assault in the bar was totally unprovoked.

"It was an extremely cowardly assault on someone who you kicked and punched to a helpless state and then continued to assault.

"Your behaviour towards the police was completely unacceptable and your unprovoked and very nasty assault by way of biting the civilian detention officer was again totally unwarranted.

"The law does not allow me to make a finding that you are dangerous, but it is quite clear to me, as it is to your own medical advisor, that you could still be capable of committing further offences but one can only hope that programmes that are put in place during your licence period will show you the error of your ways and protect the public from you", Judge Babington added.

Bonnes will serve two years in jail without remission and will be on licence for a further two years after his prison release.

© UTV News
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