Man accused of assaulting girlfriend is remanded

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A man accused of breaking bones in his girlfriend’s finger and foot has been refused bail.

Gareth Ryan Paul Ferguson, of The Old Fort, is charged with burglary with intent to inflict grievous bodily harm, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and common assault.

These charges relate to an alleged incident on August 16.

The 28-year-old is further charged with causing grievous bodily harm and criminal damage on July 26.

Derry Magistrates Court heard allegations that police were called to the woman’s home and she was ‘extremely upset’.

She reported she had been assaulted by her boyfriend of nine years and had ‘obvious injuries to the right side of her face’.

It is alleged ‘extensive damage’ was caused to her home. A TV screen was allegedly smashed and a door was pulled off a fridge.

Food was also allegedly strewn across the kitchen and the bedroom was in disarray.

She reported that she had been punched several times during an argument, before Ferguson left her home.

He allegedly came back a short time later, forced entry to her home and assaulted her again.

The 28-year-old is accused of punching her a number of times to the face and body and pulling her by the hair.

The woman was taken to hospital for treatment and she reported another assault which took place in July.

It is alleged during this incident the woman sustained a broken finger and had to undergo surgery to have a wire inserted into it.

She also allegedly sustained a broken bone to the top of her foot.

During police interview, Ferguson denied the assaults.

An investigating officer told the court police oppose bail for fear the defendant will interfere with the witness.

The officer said the alleged injured party is in a ‘very vulnerable state’ and is ‘extremely fearful’ of Ferguson.

Defence solicitor Keith Kyle said his client does not have any previous convictions of a domestic nature.

He added the 28-year-old ‘realises the relationship isn’t going to work and he has no intention of contacting the woman’.

District Judge Barney McElholm said: “It is quite clear there has been ongoing domestic violence and this is the first time this lady had pursued this to any great degree. There is every reason to believe there has been coercive control at play here.”

Ferguson was remanded in custody to appear in court again on September 10.