Domestic assault accused refused bail

A Derry remand prisoner who faces charges of assaulting a woman in her home has been refused bail at the city’s Magistrate’s Court.

Christopher Harley, of no fixed abode, appeared at Derry Magistrate’s Court via video link from Maghaberry prison yesterday.

Harley faces charges of grievous bodily harm, false imprisonment, making threats to kill, common assault and sending menacing messages via an electronic communications device.

The charges relate to alleged incident involving his then girlfriend on October 27 last year.

Opposing bail, a police officer told the court that Harley was at his girlfriend’s home and had quite a lot of alcohol taken when he subjected her to “bad domestic abuse”.

He said the injured party felt so traumatised by the incident that she could not leave her home address.

He had taunted her as well as assaulting her, the officer told the court.

He said the victim had applied for special measures in order to give evidence in the case against Harley.

The officer said that Harley had previous convictions for violence in the last two years.

Making an application for bail, Harley’s defence solicitor Paddy McDermott said his client had been in custody since October 28 and was not due for court arraignment until March 27.

He said his Harley had offered to reside at his mother’s address in Hazelbank to put distance between himself and the injured party who lives at Strathfoyle.

Refusing bail, District Judge Austin Kennedy said Harley was accused of “serious offences”.

He added that he was “concerned” that the accused would interfere with witnesses.

The case was adjourned until March 14.