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Marriage proposal gone wrong turns into drunken assault

54-year-old sentenced to four months in prison

A planned wedding proposal escalated into a drunken argument which ended in an assault, a court’s heard.

Fifty-four-year-old Derek Michael Christopher Bird, whose address was given as care of the Isle of Man Prison, appeared before magistrates at Douglas courthouse via a live video link.

At a previous hearing, he’d pleaded not guilty to assaulting a woman on 29 July in her flat on Ballafurt Road in Port Erin.

However, he changed his plea after a pre-trial review had been held.


Prosecution advocate James Robinson told the hearing Bird had bought a bottle of champagne to celebrate his engagement, but drank it quickly and told his girlfriend to go to the shop for more wine after he changed his mind about asking her to marry him.

A drunken argument started over visiting the beach, and Bird turned violent – grabbing his partner by the neck and shouting abuse at her.

He also threw the box with the engagement ring at his girlfriend, and she responded by throwing it out of the bathroom window.

Magistrates said the assault was aggravated by the facts Bird’s victim was his partner and the attack had taken place inside her home.

Bird was sent to prison for four months.

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