Accused of threats to kill his ex-wife

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A court has heard claims that a man threatened to dig up the bones of his ex-wife’s dead brother and throw them ‘bit by bit’ over her fence.

Derry Magistrates Court heard the allegations as Michael McLaughlin was charged with making a threat to kill and criminal damage on September 7. The 52-year-old, of Hollymount Park, is further charged with breaching a non-molestation order on September 8.

It is alleged McLaughlin phoned his ex-wife from his friend’s phone and was shouting abuse at her before stating “I am going to dig up your brother, bring his bones down and throw them over your fence bit by bit”.

The court was told the woman’s brother was beaten to death in 2004.

The following day it is alleged McLaughlin was outside the woman’s home and was heard shouting “the car is mine, the house is mine and she is mine” by a neighbour.

The court heard further allegations McLaughlinthreatened to kill his ex-wife and her new partner and said “no police, no judge, no f****** b******” is going to stop me” going to her home.

Opposing bail, an investigating officer said police were concerned McLaughlin would commit further offences, interfere with witnesses or breach the court order again.

Defence solicitor Maeliosa Barr said the marriage break-up has been “very bitter” and is client has “taken to alcohol to try and get over his hurt”. However, he told the court McLaughlin denies the offences.

Refusing bail, District Judge Barney McElholm said he has “no confidence” the 52-year-old would abide by bail conditions. McLaughlin was remanded in custody and will appear in court again via videolink on October 3.