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Home Deal News Article
A jealous ex-boyfriend has been jailed after trashing the home of the mother of his unborn baby... because she did not love him.
Enraged Martin Geraghty, 26, smashed his way into Rebecca Shaw's flat – and then set about wrecking everything in an orgy of violence.
A police officer who investigated the break-in later reported it was easier for him to list items that had not been ruined in the ransacking.
Geraghty, of Salisbury Road, Dover, pleaded guilty to burgling the flat in Folkestone Road with intent and causing £8,000 worth of criminal damage. He was jailed for 18 months.
He also admitted damaging a car parked outside the flat by throwing items out of a broken window.
Geraghty's ex-lover Ms Shaw breathed a sigh of relief after watching the father of her unborn child being sentenced to prison.
Not just because he has been punished for his violent trashing of her flat, but also because he is now banned from contacting her for five years.
The 23-year-old – who is expecting her second child next year – spoke of her horror at returning to her trashed flat.
She said: "When I walked in I thought there was blood over the walls… only to discover it was tomato ketchup. He had thrown food everywhere.
"I couldn't believe it. It was absolute devastation. Every panel in the shower had been smashed. Pots and pans had been thrown at a car parked below.
"My four-year-old son's things were smashed. He had thrown his clothes out of the window and all of my clothes were ripped. I was left with just that which I was standing up in."
Prosecutor Jim Harvey told Canterbury Crown Court how Ms Shaw had found out she was pregnant just two weeks before the attack in July.
Mr Harvey said: "The two had been in a relationship for three months, but were separated for some time before she discovered she was pregnant.
"The relationship was volatile between the two of them."
He said Ms Shaw had gone to a bar where Geraghty was drinking. He went up to her and asked if she still loved him.
She later said: "He came up to me in the Funky Monkey Bar and said, 'Just look me in the eyes and tell me you don't love me'. I said, 'No, I don't love you'.
"It reminded me as if he was copying a line from a soap opera," she said.
Mr Harvey said: "The defendant moved away while she made efforts to ignore him.
"However, towards the end of the evening, she said that Geraghty began getting a bit cocky and was shouting abuse at her and her friends."
"He accepts his behaviour was inexcusable, but he is an intelligent and likeable man - but one who is isolated and confused..." - Oliver Kirk, defending
The court heard how Ms Shaw then went out for something to eat and returned to her flat at 3am – only to find neighbours staring at her flat.
Mr Harvey said: "She was told that someone was inside and was wrecking the place.
"She then went inside and discovered the whole of her property had been damaged or destroyed, including the front door.
"She would later tell police that Geraghty had gone into every room and damaged everything, including causing structural damage as well as furniture and electrical goods.
"He had also thrown food all over the walls and property.
Mr Harvey added: "Ms Shaw was reported by a friend as being frantic, crying, screaming and not knowing what to do.
"One officer said that it would have been easier to catalogue those items which were not damaged or destroyed than those that were. Ms Shaw never returned to live in the flat again."
After the attack, a police dog tracked Geraghty to a garage roof where he was hiding and began shouting and repeatedly spitting at police.
During his arrest, Geraghty tried to headbutt PC Timothy Bott before biting him in the thigh. He admitted the assault on the officer.
Oliver Kirk, defending, said: "He has messed up really badly. He was undoubtedly suffering frustration because the relationship had not continued and will have a knock-on effect on his relationship with his baby.
"He accepts his behaviour was inexcusable, but he is an intelligent and likeable man - but one who is isolated and confused. He feels great sorrow and he has messed up his own life."
Judge James O'Mahony said spitting and biting a police officer was also "disgusting", adding "only dogs and animals bite".
Ms Shaw, who is planning a career in catering, said she was had been able to spot the signs of domestic abuse after attending an NHS-run Freedom Programme.
She said: "The course helps people recognise abusive men and as I was doing the programme I recognised bits that weren't quite right in our relationship.
"I believe that what I learned had really saved my life. I never said he couldn't be a part of the baby's life, but as far as we were concerned we are finished after what he did."
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