Terrified mother-of-two crouched over her baby girl as her husband kicked and punched her in the face in a brutal attack just three days after she gave birth
- Kerry Armstrong was left with two black eyes and severe swelling and bruising
- She shielded her three-day old baby who she had been holding seconds before
- Her husband Gary Peoples was jailed for 20 months at the Crown Court in Derry
- Peoples admitting attacking his wife and shoving her daughter, 13, against a wall
A man who brutally attacked his stepdaughter and his wife just days after she had given birth to their daughter has been jailed for 20 months.
Kerry Armstrong shielded her baby daughter during the horrifying assault by crouching over while her husband Gary Peoples, 40, kicked and punched Ms Armstrong in the head.
Seconds before the assault, which occurred in October 2017 at their Belfast home, she had been holding the newborn baby.
Play group leader Kerry Armstrong, from Belfast, was attacked by her husband at their home just three days after she gave birth to their daughter and left with two black eyes, severe swelling and bruising
The play group leader was left with two black eyes and severe swelling and bruising on other parts of her face.
When Ms Armstrong’s 13-year-old daughter entered the room, Peoples grabbed her and pushed her against a wall.
Peoples admitted attacking his wife and stepdaughter during the same incident at the Crown Court in Derry and was jailed by Judge Elizabeth McCaffrey.
Ms Armstrong said she will never forgive her husband and is relieved that the judicial system did its job in this instance by putting him behind bars, Belfast Live reported.
Speaking after her husband was jailed, she added: ‘It has been quite a long time since this happened and it has been hard to get to this point.
Kerry Armstrong said she would never forgive her husband but she is glad the ordeal is now over
‘At times I just wanted to give up but I was determined to go through with it on behalf of other women who have suffered and who are still suffering from the effects of domestic violence.
‘I want to thank in particular Women’s Aid in Belfast. Without their help and counselling and without the help of other domestic violence sufferers whom I have met and befriended I couldn’t have gone through with it.
‘They gave me amazingly fantastic assistance. Until this happened to me I didn’t really appreciate the extent of the levels of domestic violence in Northern Ireland.
‘Now I know and the women whom I now know who have been victims and who have come through it make me feel so humble.’
Ms Armstrong encouraged any victims of domestic violence to immediately seek help from the authorities.
The prosecutor told Judge McCaffrey that Ms Amstrong and Peoples had argued in the bedroom of their flat on October 2 2017, three days after the birth of their daughter.
Kerry Armstrong’s husband Gary Peoples was sentenced to 20 months in jail at a court in Derry after he admitting attacking her and her 13-year-old daughter
Printer worker Peoples punched her in the face and kicked her in the head after she fell to the ground, the judge heard.
The prosecutor said Peoples had initially tried to stop Ms Armstrong from leaving the flat, but she escaped and drove to her mother’s home.
Her brother then reported the assaults to the police.
A defence barrister said Peoples was ashamed and remorseful, adding that he had not seen his daughter, who is now 18 months, since the attack.
The barrister argued that there was no previous domestic violence history between the couple and that their relationship had been strained.
‘There was a very short romance before the marriage. Both parties brought their own children from previous relationships to the table,’ Belfast Live quotes the defence barrister as saying.
‘It was the meshing of two families which raised issues about relationships between the respective children and step children.
‘Tensions were at times running high and the defendant bottled things up. He did not deal with things appropriately and he snapped.
‘It was an out of character incident and one he will have to live with for the rest of his life.’
Judge McCaffrey said the victim impact statements of Ms Armstrong and her daughter shows the devastating impact of the assaults, which she described as ‘abhorrent’
‘The message must go out that people who commit such crimes will receive condign punishment,’ she said.