Accused of choking pregnant girlfriend

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A 19 year-old man accused of trying to choke his pregnant teenage girlfriend has been refused bail.

Jonathan Joseph Anthony McCusker, of Clareen Drive, is charged with attempting to choke with intent and grievous bodily harm with intent on September 18.

He faces further charges in relation to an incident in the Greenhaw Avenue area of the city on June 20, when an elderly couple were allegedly assaulted outside their home.

McCusker is charged with grievous bodily harm, common assault and possession of a knife on that date.

Opposing a bail application, an investigating officer told the court police feared the teen would commit further offences.

The court heard allegations that McCusker and his 17 year-old girlfriend had an argument about a previous relationship she had.

It is alleged a “physical melee” started in the bedroom and he punched his girlfriend round the head and dragged her around the room by the hair.

The court heard the woman was four weeks pregnant at the time and it is alleged McCusker kicked her several times in the stomach, stating “you are getting a termination”.

It was claimed that the 19 year-old then got a pillow from the bed, held it over his girlfriend’s face and began counting to 20. He also allegedly put his hands around her neck and attempted to choke her, again counting to 20.

During this alleged incident, the woman claimed McCusker told her; “If I do this to 30 you are dead”.

The officer told the court the defendant “became extremely irate” during police interview and added that it had to be “terminated for the safety of those taking part”.

Opposing bail, she revealed McCusker has a relevant domestic violence history with another partner and has “shown a tendency for violence”.

She said police also had concerns he would not abide by bail conditions.

Refusing bail. District Judge Barney McElholm said he could think of no conditions he could impose “that would regulate his [McCusker’s] behaviour”.

He added that he had “no confidence” the teen would pay any attention to bail conditions.

McCusker was remanded in custody and will appear in court again via videolink on November 1.