Strathfoyle man faces charge of breaking girl’s foot and finger

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A Strathfoyle man accused of breaking bones in his girlfriend’s finger and foot has been refused bail.

Gareth Ryan Paul Ferguson, of The Old Fort, in Strathfoyle, is charged with burglary with intent to inflict grievous bodily harm, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and common assault.

All of these charges relate to an alleged incident said to have occured on August 16.

The 28-year-old is further charged with causing grievous bodily harm and criminal damage on July 26.

Londonderry Magistrates Court heard allegations that police were called to the woman’s home and she was ‘extremely upset’.

She reported that she had been assaulted by her boyfriend of nine years and had ‘obvious injuries to the right side of her face’.

It is alleged ‘extensive damage’ was caused to her home.

A television screen was allegedly smashed and a door was pulled off a fridge.

Food was also allegedly strewn across the kitchen and the bedroom was in disarray.

She reported that she had been punched several times during an argument, before Ferguson left her home.

He allegedly came back a short time later, forced entry to her home and assaulted her again.

The 28-year-old is accused of punching her a number of times to the face and body and pulling her by the hair.

The woman was taken to hospital for treatment and she reported another assault which took place in July.

It is alleged that during this incident the woman sustained a broken finger and had to undergo surgery to have a wire inserted into it.

She also allegedly sustained a broken bone to the top of her foot.

During interview with the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), Ferguson denied the assaults.

An investigating officer told Londonderry Magistrates’ Court that police were opposing bail for fear that the defendant will interfere with the witness.

The officer said that the alleged injured party is in a ‘very vulnerable state’ and is ‘extremely fearful’ of Ferguson.

Defence solicitor Keith Kyle said his client does not have any previous convictions of a domestic nature.

He added that the 28-year-old ‘realises the relationship isn’t going to work and he has no intention of contacting the woman’.

District Judge Barney McElholm said: “It is quite clear there has been ongoing domestic violence and this is the first time this lady had pursued this to any great degree.”

The Judge went on to state that : “There is every reason to believe there has been coercive control at play here.”

The Strathfyole man was remanded in custody to appear at Londonderry Magistrates’ Court again on September 10.