Monday 22 January 2018

Man 'threw teenage girlfriend in front of lorry' - court hears

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STOCK IMAGE

Alan Erwin

A Co Tyrone man allegedly threw his teenage girlfriend in front of a lorry as part of a year-long campaign of domestic abuse, the High Court has heard.

He is also accused of punching and kicking her about the face and body after they had been out at a nightclub.

Prosecutors set out further claims that the 21-year-old man stole cash from the girl and threatened to kill her and her family if she informed police.

Details emerged as he was granted bail again amid allegations of fresh contact through social media.

With social services involved in the case, the defendant is not being named to protect his 17-year-old ex-partner's identity.

He faces 14 charges, including attempted grievous bodily harm with intent, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, seven counts of common assault, threats to kill, theft and common assault.

The alleged offences occurred on dates between September 2016, when the girl was 16, and September 2017.

Police launched an investigation after she claimed her former partner had subjected her to episodes of violence, the court heard.

Referring to the alleged attempted grievous bodily harm, Crown lawyer Conor Maguire said: "Her claim is that the applicant threw her out onto the road in front of a lorry."

Other incidents involved blows to the head, chest and eye-socket, breaking her phone and stealing from her purse, it was claimed.

Mr Maguire also detailed a further alleged attack as police were preparing to arrest the accused last month.

"The injured party and the applicant had been in a nightclub in Strabane," he told the court.

"She said he punched and kicked her to her face, chest, back and stomach."

Photographs provided by the girl's mother appeared to show bruising, a black eye and split lip, according to the prosecutor.

Bail previously granted to the accused was revoked amid claims he breached a ban on contacting his ex-partner.

He allegedly attempted to communicate through Snapchat and Instagram, with one message said to have read: "You'll be got."

Defence counsel Martin McCann stressed the alleged breaches were denied, arguing someone else sent the messages to compromise his client.

He told the court a fake social media account had been set up, adding: "There may have been a concerted attempt to pervert the course of justice."

Granting bail once more, Mr Justice McCloskey imposed a ban on the accused accessing the internet.

But he also ordered him to first change his passwords on all social media accounts to ensure no-one else can access them.

Belfast Telegraph

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