Derry businessman charged with assaulting wife

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A prominent Derry businessman appeared at a special sitting of the local Magistrate’s Court today charged with putting a twelve inch blade kitchen knife to his wife’s throat during an alleged incident in their home in the Waterside area of the city at the week-end.

Louis Raphael McLoughlin, a 54 years old restaurateur, from Limavady Road, appeared handcuffed in police custody in the dock before District Judge Mervyn Bates.

He’s charged with assaulting his wife, possessing a knife with intent to commit an offence, possessing a ladle with intent to commit an indictable offence, threatening to kill his wife and falsely imprisoning her. The defendant is alleged to have committed the offences at their family home in the early hours of Saturday morning last.

Opposing bail, a police officer told the court that the complainant had alleged there had been “a history of domestic abuse in the past which she has not reported”. He said the police were alerted to the alleged incident by the complainant’s sister. The officer said when the police arrived at the family’s Limavady Road home they were unable to gain entry through the front door and had to force their way into the house through the back door.

Inside they met the complainant who was in a distressed condition. The police witness said the complainant had a small cut to her right hand and other bruises which she said had been inflicted on her by her husband. The complainant told the police that her husband of almost thirty years had carried out the alleged assaults on her for over an hour and that he also threatened to kill her on a number of occasions.

The officer said the complainant alleged that her husband had locked the doors of the house and had put the kitchen knife to her throat on a number of occasions. She told the police that she now feared for her life.

Applying for bail, solicitor Ciaran Harkin said his client only had previous convictions for motoring offences. He said the defendant had been drinking before the alleged incidents and he had been told by a forensic medical officer not to consume alcohol while on medication for heart problems.

Mr. Harkin said the defendant was experiencing financial difficulties in relation to a bankruptcy and business failure. He said the defendant was both shocked and ashamed to find himself before the court and he added that the defendant had no memory of the alleged offences.

However the District Judge said he did not believe the defendant “to be suitable for bail” and he remanded him in custody for a video link hearing on June 21.