Accused of stabbing girlfriend with a screwdriver

editorial image

A 25-year-old man has appeared in court accused of stabbing his girlfriend in the shoulder with a screwdriver.

Derry Magistrate’s Court heard allegations that Martin Stokes also sprayed aerosol over the woman and attempted to set her alight.

Stokes, of Collon Lane, is charged with attempted grievous bodily harm, common assault, and possessing an offensive weapon.

He is further charged with false imprisonment and criminal damage.

The offences relate to two separate alleged incidents between March 18 and May 30.

It is alleged the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service contacted police as they were treating a woman who had been stabbed.

She initially refused to provide details of what happened but an independent witness alleged she had been stabbed with a screwdriver by Stokes.

Officers went into the woman’s flat and extensive damage was caused to it.

Photographs of the damage and the injuries sustained by the woman were shown to the court.

The woman gave a statement to police at a later stage.

She alleged Stokes ran at her with a screwdriver, held her by the throat and stabbed her with it.

She also alleged that in March while they were staying at a hotel in Belfast, Stokes had sprayed her with aerosol and attempted to light it.

It is further alleged the 25-year-old assaulted his girlfriend’s younger sister.

Stokes was initially released on police bail, however he was arrested for breaching this bail after the woman reported receiving messages from him on Facebook.

An investigating officer opposed bail for fear of further offences.

She told the court there is a ‘significant’ domestic violence history between the couple and the woman has been assessed as high risk.

The officer said police also have fears that Stokes would interfere with the witnesses.

Defence solicitor Keith Kyle said the relationship between this couple is ‘particularly fractious’.

He claimed the alleged injured party has a ‘history of making complaints and not seeing them through’.

District Judge Barney McElholm refused bail stating ‘I wouldn’t trust him to adhere to any bail conditions’.

He added ‘it is about time the message went out to violent domestic abusers their behaviour won’t be tolerated’.

Stokes will appear in court again via videolink on November 12.