Man accused of attack on girlfriend remanded

A man accused of an “absolutely horrendous” attack on his girlfriend has been refused bail at the local magistrates court.

The 31-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is charged with attempted murder, sexual assault and grievous bodily harm with intent in relation to an alleged incident on July 13.

He is further charged with kidnapping, possession of an offensive weapon, possession of a knife and making a threat to kill.

An investigating officer told Derry Magistrate’s Court the man had an argument with his girlfriend after they had been out drinking.

He allegedly struck the woman over the head with a glass vodka bottle and she left the house.

She claims that the 31-year-old followed her, dragged her into nearby bushes and sexually assaulted her.

The court heard the woman made further allegations to police that the defendant punched and slapped her about the face and head, and threatened to stab her with a knife.

The investigating officer said the couple then went back to the alleged injured party’s home and the woman claimed she was further assaulted by her boyfriend.

He allegedly threatened to kill her, bit her, smashed her head against the bedroom wall and smashed a flat screen TV on top her head.

The court heard allegations the 31-year-old got a washing line and threatened to hang himself, before telling the woman she was the one that deserved to die.

The woman claims he then tied the washing line round a banister and that he wanted her to jump downstairs.

Police arrived at the address a short time later, however the defendant was able to get out of the house before officers came in.

The 31-year-old went to the police station voluntarily a few days later and during interview he admitted he had slapped his girlfriend about the face and head.

However, he denied the sexual offences and the rest of the allegations.

Police opposed bail on the grounds that the 31-year-old may interfere with witnesses and pose a risk to the safety of the alleged injured party.

The officer revealed there is a history of domestic violence “stretching back to 2008” and police feared he would commit further offences against her.

Photographs of the injuries sustained by the alleged injured party were shown to District Judge Barney McElholm. Defence solicitor Keith Kyle said his client was willing to abide by stringent bail conditions, including a ban on entering the city.

However, Mr McElholm refused bail stating that the proposed bail address ten miles outside the city was “about 200 miles too close.”

He said it was an “absolutely horrendous case” and the injuries shown in the photographs “couldn’t have been caused by a couple of slaps.”

The judge added the 31-year-old is a “violent person” and there was a clear risk of further offences or interference with witnesses.

The defendant was remanded in custody and will appear in court again via videolink on January 12.