Northern Ireland MMA fighter left ex partner fearing she would die during brutal attack

A woman "feared she was going to die" during a vicious assault at the hands of her ex-partner after he lost an MMA fight.

Carter Coulter, 30, of Claremont Drive, Moira, pleaded guilty to charges of criminal damage, threats to kill and assault occasioning actual bodily harm against his ex-partner Dolores Gallagher at Craigavon Crown Court on Wednesday, July 3.

The plea came after an incident on October 31, 2022, when Coulter attacked Dolores in her home after losing an MMA bout, which only ended after she managed to flee from the property to seek help from neighbours.

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Speaking to Belfast Live, Dolores said she was certain Coulter was going to kill her during the attack and that he whispered into her ear that he was going to murder her while holding her by the neck in a martial arts technique known as a 'rear naked choke'.

Dolores said: "Carter had been involved in an amateur MMA fight on Halloween that he lost and afterwards a number of people came back to the house to have a drink. Then in the early hours of the morning once everyone had left, he suddenly turned on me and attacked me, knocking me unconscious and dragging me into another room.

"When I came round, he was standing there screaming at me and I was terrified that something more serious was going to happen. He then went down stairs and started to sleep on the sofa, so I decided that I would try to sneak out of the house to safety.

"But as I was doing that he woke up and then dragged me up the stairs into the bedroom where I begged for him to leave me alone and to not hurt me.

"He then attacked me again, hitting me over and over across my head, ribs and back before putting me into a rear naked choke. As he was choking me I started to see dots all over my vision and was certain that this was going to be the moment that I died, as he was whispering in my ear that he was going to kill me.

"Thankfully, I also train in MMA so was able to get myself out of the chokehold and get away from him before collapsing at my neighbour's front door who then rang the police.

"While I was lucky to not suffer any broken bones as a result of the attack, I am still suffering with the impact of the injuries that I received to this day."

She said she suffered at the hands of Coulter, and said that he cut her off from friends and family.

She said: "When I was finally free from him I have had this court case hanging over my head for nearly two years which has caused me further anguish.

"I am glad that he has received a prison sentence for the attack, but I am disappointed that it was not a stronger sentence. He will lose a year of his life but I feel like I have lost five years of mine.

"I just hope that by speaking out and highlighting what type of a person he really is, I can make others aware of him and encourage others in a similar situation to find the strength to leave their abusers and get help."

Coulter was given a two year custodial sentence, serving one year in prison and another on licence. He was also made the subject of a non-molestation order until July 3, 2027.

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