Children ‘saw dad assault mother’

editorial image

A 10-years-old girl was asked to clean up her mother’s blood after an alleged assault so that her father ‘wouldn’t have to go to jail’, a court has heard.

Patrick Coyle, described as a ‘prolific offender,’ is charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm and common assault.

The 42-years-old, of Lower Bennett Street, Derry, is further charged with causing damage to a mobile phone, possessing Cannabis and an unknown Class A drug and possessing fireworks without a certificate.

The charges relate to an alleged incident on May 9 and a subsequent search of the defendant’s home on May 10.

Derry Magistrate’s Court heard allegations that police received a ‘999’ call from a woman who reported that she had been attacked.

Another female could be heard screaming and shouting in the background as the woman reported, ‘he is killing her.’

She also reported that the woman’s children were shouting and looking for help.

Members of the public had also contacted police to report a man and a woman fighting in the street.

They reported that children were shouting that their ‘mammy was bleeding badly’.

Police attended the property at Lower Bennett Street where, it is alleged, Coyle initially refused to answer the door.

The court heard his partner, the alleged injured party, was sitting on the stairs and was bleeding from the mouth.

She allegedly had bruising and swelling to the left side of her jaw and was unable to put any weight on one of her legs.

It is alleged the woman had been in a local bar with her friend when Coyle came in and saw a man with his arm around her.

She said the 42-years-old told her to find somewhere else to live and, as she followed him home, he allegedly took her phone and smashed it.

The woman claimed Coyle locked her out of the house and that she didn’t remember anything else until she woke up on the kitchen floor in a lot of pain.

Police spoke to the alleged injured party’s children and a 10-years-old girl reported that her daddy had ‘lost it’ because her mum had gone out and wouldn’t answer her phone.

She allegedly told police that Coyle had ‘battered her mammy and knocked her out’ and ‘dragged her round the place.’

The girl also made allegations that ‘there were blood clots on the floor and daddy asked us to clean it up so he wouldn’t have to go to jail’.

An investigating officer said there was no domestic violence history between the couple.

However, he said the daughter allegedly told police: ‘Daddy always does this’.

The court heard allegations that police searched Coyle’s home address the following day and seized a small amount of Cannabis. They also allegedly seized a bong containing a white substance, believed to be a Class A drug, and 10 category two fireworks.

During police interview, Coyle made no comment.

Opposing bail, an investigating officer told the court police had ‘real concerns about the defendant interfering with witnesses’ or committing further offences.

He described Coyle as a ‘prolific offender’ who has 218 previous convictions, five of which are for serious assaults.

Defence solicitor Seamus Quigley accepted his client had an ‘appalling record’ but said almost half of the convictions were for motoring offences.

He applied for Coyle to be released on bail to his home address.

Deputy District Judge Brian Archer, remarking that ‘victims of domestic violence are vulnerable people’, refused the bail application and remanded Coyle in custody to appear in court again via videolink on June 8.