Accused of trying to strangle girlfriend

editorial image

A 24-year-old man has appeared at Derry Court accused of attempting to choke or strangle his girlfriend with intent to murder her.

Philip Henry Henson, of Kings Lane, Ballykelly, is also charged with possession of a knife, false imprisonment, and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

He is further charged with assaulting and resisting police officers and making a threat to kill them.

The offences relate to an alleged incident at Henson’s home in the early hours of October 1.

Derry Magistrate’s Court heard claims that the 24-year-old grabbed his girlfriend by the throat and “squeezed really tightly”.

The alleged injured party believes she had “some sort of fit” at this stage and when she came round there was “white stuff coming out of her mouth”.

It was claimed that Henson was hugging her, saying he was sorry. However, when the woman got up and went into the hallway of the house it is alleged the 24-year-old drew a knife across his throat and pointed it at her.

The court heard the woman left the house and when Henson came after her he allegedly told her: “You should have died when I strangled you”.

There were further allegations that he grabbed her and dragged her back into the garden of the house, when she fell and struck her face on the doorstep.

When they got back into the house, Henson allegedly sat on her legs and wouldn’t let her up for a time.

The court heard claims that when police arrived the defendant hit a police officer on the leg, headbutted him and bit him on the hand.

He also allegedly threatened to shoot two police officers stating: “I am going to shoot you and I am going to enjoy shooting you”.

An investigating police officer opposed bail on the grounds that Henson may interfere with witnesses or re-offend.

Defence solicitor Keith Kyle said the relationship between the couple is now over and Henson would have no reason to be in contact with her.

He added there was a suggestion the alleged injured party wanted to withdraw her statement.

Refusing bail, Deputy District Judge Mervyn Bates said the allegations were of a “very serious incident over a period of time”.

He said he did not consider Henson to be a “suitable candidate for bail”.

The 24-year-old was remanded in custody and will appear in court again via videolink on October 25th.