Jeremy McConnell, Irish model and reality TV star, has been sentenced to 20 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months, at Liverpool Magistrates Court.
Earlier this week McConnell was found guilty of assaulting then girlfriend Stephanie Davis in an attack, she describes as making her “fear for her life.”
McDonnell and Davis struck up a relationship following their appearance on Celebrity Big Brother, and they argued during the hearing with Davis telling how McConnell had “completely ruined her life.” Judge Wendy Lloyd had to order a break in proceedings when McConnell started laughing in the dock as Miss Davis broke down in tears.
Miss Davis described to the court how the couple had been out for a meal with friends for her birthday, and upon returning home, McConnell had gone back out to a local pub with two of the group. She said that when he returned home at around midnight, he was “out of it” and had been taking cocaine.
When the other friends left, she said McConnell grabbed her by the face and began insulting her, and took her phone when she tried to call for help. He then pushed her and bit the inside of her arm. He left the house after that, but later returned and started kicking doors in an attempt to gain entry.
She said: “I heard him go over the gate, it was literally like a horror film. I just thought, ‘This is it, he’s going to kill me.'”
She eventually allowed him in, fearing he would smash the patio doors. He followed her upstairs and threw her onto the bed.
“Every time I got up, he got me by the face and threw me down forcefully.” she said, adding that he punched her in the side of the head and twice pushed her against the wall.
McConnell also accused her of having affairs with a pregnant friend and also with a nearby fireman.
Describing him as ‘psychotic’, Miss Davis went on to tell how McConnell left the house once more but again returned, snapping the handles off the patio doors to get in. She said he was apologetic for his earlier behaviour and threatened to smash a bottle of wine over his own head.
During his absence, Miss Davis had been able to contact her mother, who arrived as this was taking place. “He went to smash the bottle of wine over his head, and that was just when my mum knocked at the door, and it was the biggest relief of my life because I genuinely thought that was it,” she said.
She added that they argued about his drug use, and claimed he spent £180,000 on cocaine last year.
McConnell denied the claims, stating he was acting in self-defence after she attacked him for taking cocaine and that the injuries shown to the court as evidence were “self-inflicted.” “I’ve seen her hurt herself.” He said.
James Morris, defending, said: “She is aggrieved that he actually ended their relationship some six weeks ago.”
On sentencing, Judge Wendy Lloyd said “Miss Davis had a number of injuries that were entirely consistent with her evidence including a large bite mark to her arm.
“I find you have displayed no remorse, not even for the effect of this episode on your young baby.
“If you had just left Ms Davis’ home, and it was her property, none of this would have happened.”
James Morris urged the judge to consider probation and rehabilitation, noting his previous good character and adding that McConnell had sought help for drug misuse and completed treatment in April. He noted that a pre-sentence report said there was very low risk of him re-offending and described how McConnell helps care for a relative with autism.
In addition to his suspended sentence, McConnell was ordered to carry out a Building Better Relationships course with the probation service, as well as 15 days of Rehabilitation Activity Requirements and undertake 200 hours unpaid work.
The prosecution also sought £800 to cover the cost of repairs to Miss Davis’s home as well as a restraining order, the terms of which are that he is ‘not to contact directly or indirectly, by any means Stephanie Davis, except by solicitors or as directed by the family court for the purposes of child contact’ and ‘he is not to enter the road Steph lives on’.
A statement from Miss Davis, who was not present for the sentencing hearing, read: “This incident has made me feel a nervous wreck; every time I hear a loud noise I panic. This has made me feel severe anxiety and depressed.
“I feel like I’m drowning, like I have to justify everything I do, and I question myself constantly because Jeremy has denied everything.”
Due to his ‘variable’ income, Judge Lloyd asked if McConnell would be able to pay the £800 damages. Morris said that he would do so, saying “He’s a man of previous good character, and he’s willing to comply with any community order or suspended sentence order.”