Man accused of attempted murder of girlfriend

Derry's Courthouse on Bishop Street. 3003JM66
Derry's Courthouse on Bishop Street. 3003JM66

A 30-year-old man has appeared in court accused of attempting to murder his girlfriend.

James Martin Moore, of Bloomfield Park, is charged with attempted murder, with intent to endanger life, common assault and criminal damage.

The charges relate to an alleged incident at his flat on November 2.He is further charged with theft in January last year.

Derry Magistrates Court heard allegations Moore contacted police requesting assistance. The line then went dead. He called back a short time later and alleged his girlfriend was in his flat wrecking it. The 30-year-old said he had gone to his grandfather’s house.

Twenty minutes later the Fire Brigade contacted police with a report of a fire at the address. Police called Moore back and he agreed to come back to his flat and speak to officers, however he didn’t show up.

The court was told the alleged injured party was arrested and interviewed in relation to the fire and a forensic report obtained at a later stage supported her version of events. She claimed she was in bed sleeping and was woken by the fire alarm. The curtains in the bedroom were on fire and she pulled them down in an attempt to extinguish the fire.

However, the fire allegedly got worse and the injured party tried to leave the flat but the door was locked. She further alleged that curtains in the living room were also on fire and she used a brush to remove glass from an already broken window to call for help from neighbours.

The court heard allegations that three footwear marks were found on the living room windowsill, which were forensically examined. This found the footprints were made after the fire ‘developed significantly’.

An investigating officer said these did not match the footwear worn by the alleged injured party.

The woman also made allegations that the day before the fire the 30-year-old smashed her TV and hit her on the face with a shoe. Moore was arrested on Friday and during police interview admitted slapping the woman.

However, he denied starting the fire. He claimed he left the flat through the front door and went to his grandfather’s house after he phoned the police on the night in question.

Moore claimed the fire had been started by his girlfriend in a suicide bid. Defence solicitor Don Mahoney told the court there is ‘no forensic link’ to his client in relation to the fire. He added the timeline of the initial report to police and when Moore left to go to his grandfather’s address would lend support to the 30-year-old’s version of events.

District Judge Barney McElholm said he would have no confidence Moore would turn up to court, because he has been avoiding police since November. Moore was remanded in custody to appear in court again via videolink on February 12.