Man (21) kidnapped teen bride - court told

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A 21-year-old man has appeared in court accused of kidnapping his teenage bride.

Martin McDonagh, of Eskaheen View, is further charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm and false imprisonment.

The charges relate to an alleged incident involving his wife on July 28.

Derry Magistrate’s Court heard allegations that the couple had only been married for ten days when the incident occurred.

An investigating officer said police received a 999 call reporting a man, later identified as McDonagh, for assaulting a young women on the Strabane Old Road.

A second emergency call stated that the woman was unconscious and the man had put her over his shoulder and put her in a van.

An investigating officer said police stopped the van in Magheramason and the alleged injured party claimed she had a heated argument with her husband earlier that day and he had assaulted her by kicking and punching her.

The court heard further allegations that the woman “threw herself” from the moving van because she was “too scared and sore to take anymore”.

The officer revealed to the court the teen had bite marks to her shoulders and arm, as well as bruising to her arms and face. It was claimed the woman also had scrapes on her hip and severe stomach pain as a result of the alleged incident.

The officer said the woman told police she had older bruises because the 21-year-old had assaulted her with a stiletto heel a couple of days before this alleged assault.

During police interview, the 21-year-old denied all the offences and claimed his wife had jumped from the van after she attempted to grab the steering wheel.

Opposing bail, the officer told the court police had concerns McDonagh would interfere with witnesses.

She revealed he had phoned family members while in police custody to ask them to contact his wife and get her to withdraw the allegations.

The officer said police would also be concerned about further violence towards the alleged injured party.

Defence solicitor Ciaran McGuinness said police concerns could be dealt with by the imposition of stringent bail conditions.

He said his client has no criminal record and his father would be able to provide a surety and an address in Omagh.

Mr McGuinness added McDonagh did not realise how serious it was for him to make the phone calls to his family and if he was given “a chance on bail” there would be no further contact.

Refusing bail, District Judge Barney McElholm said the case involved “extremely serious allegations”.

He said there was a risk of further offences and a fear McDonagh would not turn up to court.

The 21-year-old was remanded in custody and will appear in court again via videolink on August 23.