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Man admits assaulting ex-girlfriend

A 24-year-old man who admitted assaulting the mother of his child was handed a conditional discharge in Magistrates' Court.

Damir Armstrong, of Pembroke, told the court he acted in retaliation after his ex-girlfriend Felisha Johnson repeatedly hit him on June 13.

In court, Ms Johnson admitted she hit Armstrong first Magistrate Khamisi Tokunbo ruled the offence could be dealt with by way of conditional discharge.

A conditional discharge means a person will not have a conviction recorded against their name as long as they don't get into further trouble and abide to necessary conditions during the period of the order.

Armstrong, a father-of-one, was also ordered to take part in an anger management programme.

Crown counsel Tawana Tannock said that Armstrong went to Ms Johnson's house to confront her about disrespecting his friends.

She said the complainant asked him to leave and he became angry and grabbed her, pulling her around the house.

A struggle ensued between the two and Armstrong hit Ms Johnson in the face and threw her in the direction of some trash bags, Ms Tannock said.

Neighbours intervened. Ms Johnson was treated in hospital for a cut to her lip and bruises to her face, scalp and neck.

Armstrong said the Crown's statement of events was “not accurate”.

He insisted Ms Johnson began hitting him when he went to get a personal item from inside her house.

He denied going there to confront her about disrespecting his friends and only brought that up later.

Armstrong said that once inside, Ms Johnson told him to get out. He said she continued hitting him as he got his stuff and that he did not retaliate.

Eventually he was “caught in the moment” and hit her back, Armstrong said.

After consoling his son, who was in the house during the fight, Armstrong went outside to his motorbike. Ms Johnson followed him and the fight continued.

Armstrong's lawyer, Elizabeth Christopher, said her client had a tough year his mother died and he was laid off from a job.

“I am not making excuses for what he did, but he wasn't right thinking because his mother died,” she said.

Ms Christopher told the court Armstrong had career aspirations that would be hindered by a criminal conviction.

In his own defence, Armstrong told the court: “I am not a bully. I am not a woman beater.

“[My ex] pushed me to a place in my mental state that I wasn't able to handle because of my mother.”

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Published December 29, 2010 at 1:00 am (Updated December 29, 2010 at 7:14 am)

Man admits assaulting ex-girlfriend

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