Accused of assaulting pregnant girlfriend and child

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A man has appeared in court accused of assaulting his pregnant girlfriend and their two-year-old daughter.

The 39-year-old, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the alleged injured party, is charged with assault and child cruelty.

The charges relate to an alleged incident on May 3. Derry Magistrate’s Court heard allegations that the woman had an argument with the 39-year-old for consuming alcohol while looking after their child.

He allegedly assaulted her by hitting her about the face and also hit the child, who was in her arms.

The court heard the woman sustained bruising to her head and face.

The child was allegedly left with ‘welt’ on her cheek.

An investigating officer told the court a neighbour heard a disturbance and was ‘terrified’ it wouldn’t stop.

She allegedly went to another neighbour, who was ‘an off duty officer’ and he went to the house.

The court heard claims the defendant told him ‘to be honest I swung at her, I will not lie to you I swung at her’.

During police interview, the man claimed he had pushed his girlfriend into a pile of laundry and that he swung at her but thought he did not connect.

After hearing the 999 call from the woman he accepted the swing must have connected.

The court heard he accepted full responsibility for the injuries caused to both his girlfriend and child.

Opposing bail, the investigating officer said the woman is seven months pregnant and is in a ‘vulnerable’ state.

She said that police feared the defendant will interfere with the witness.

The officer also revealed the defendant has previous convictions for assault, but these were not in a domestic setting.

Defence counsel Eoghan Devlin said these were ‘very serious and distasteful offences’ but his client has accepted responsibility.

He said if the man interferes with the witness it would not affect the prosecution and it would lead to more serious charges.

Refusing bail, District Judge Peter King said the defendant’s record shows a ‘propensity for violence in the past’.

He added in all the circumstances and given the vulnerability of the witness the defendant was not a suitable candidate for bail.

The 39-year-old was remanded in custody to appear in court again via videolink on May 28.