Bail for man accused of beating and threatining to kill partner

The courthouse at Bishop Street, Derry

The courthouse at Bishop Street, Derry

A 22-years-old man accused of choking his partner, threatening to kill her and inflicting grievous bodily harm on her in the presence of her two young children on Tuesday, has been granted bail on condition that he reside outside Derry.

The accused, who cannot be named in order to protect the identity of the alleged injured party, appeared at Derry Magistrate’s Court on Thursday, following a report of an incident alleged to have occurred on April 18.

A police constable, opposing a bail application, told the court that the charges arose from a report that the PSNI received from Social Services on April 19, the day after the woman is alleged to have been assaulted.

According to the report the defendant is alleged to have come home after a night out and called the woman a “dirty slag” the police constable said.

Over a period of between 30 and 40 minutes the defendant is alleged to have thrown the woman to the floor several times, according to the report police received.

The police constable told the court that the complainant alleged that the accused dragged the woman by her hair out of the bed she had been sharing with her four-years-old child before pulling her down the stairs, placing his hands around her neck, and choking her.

The woman is alleged to have fled the house seeking refuge at a neighbour’s home with her four years old, but upon returning to check on another one year old chil, who had remained in her house sleeping, she was allegedly struck over the head with a cup by the defendant, the court heard.

The court was also told the alleged victim may have sustained two black eyes and a suspected broken cheekbone among other injuries. She admitted hitting the defendant on the head with a glass vase in self-defence, the police constable said.

In response to a question from the defendant’s solicitor Seamus Quigley, the police officer acknowledged there was no record of the injured party having gone to hospital and there was no medical confirmation of the injuries having been sustained.

Mr. Quigley told the court that an address in the city had been proposed as a possible bail address but that this had been objected to by police on the grounds that it was only two miles away from the alleged victim’s home.

Mr. Quigley also said that the defendant had alleged that he too had been a victim of domestic violence.

“He is one of the 10 per cent of victims who happened to be male,” claimed the defence solicitor.

Mr. Quigley said that he had been advised by his client that when the defendant had been taking his children to nursery, staff had had occasion to contact Social Services over the fact that he was turning up so often with black eyes and cuts to his face. The defendant also denied the charges against him and in his statement to police alleged his partner had attacked him in a night club opposite Strand Road Police Station and that this had allegedly spilled out into the street, Mr. Quigley told the court. Police allegedly had to intervene between the couple although the police constable told the court there was no record of the intervention.

The officer opposed bail on the grounds that the injured party presented as a high risk victim of domestic violence.

District Judge Brian Archer agreed to bail on the strict condition that the defendant reside at an address eight miles away from the city; that he have no contact with the injured party; that he consume no alcoholand that he submit to breath testing.

He must also observe a curfew between the hours of 9 pm and 7am.

The defendant was bailed to appear again at Strabane Court on May 18.