An English journalist, who battered his partner with a crutch during an unprovoked attack, has been given a three-month suspended jail sentence. Forty-four-year-old Ian Bailey, with an address in Schull, West Cork, beat Catherine Jules Thomas about the head, face and body.

Bailey and Ms Thomas were involved in a relationship for about ten years. On August 18 last, the couple were at home watching television. Ms Thomas was sitting on the floor going through the contents of her handbag when, without warning, Bailey hit her in the left eye with his crutch.

Bailey continued to beat Ms Thomas. She received a black eye, a swollen cheekbone and chin and cuts to her lips as well as bruising to her arms and legs. She still fears for her safety.

Today Bailey was given a three-month suspended jail sentence and he must pay £2,500 in compensation within five months. Afterwards, Bailey left the court without making a comment.

Bailey must also be of good behaviour for two years, particularly towards Ms Thomas. Judge James O'Connor said that he was taking into account the fact that Bailey had already spent three and a half weeks in jail.