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Dad accused of strangle attack in hotel room

A 47-YEAR-OLD man who allegedly tried to strangle a young woman in a hotel room in Dublin earlier this month has been refused bail.

Robert Melia, a father-of-two, who is originally from Coolock, Dublin, but has no fixed address, appeared in court to face charges of assault causing harm to the woman, who is in her early 20s, and falsely imprisoning her at a north inner city hotel on May 19.

Dublin District Court heard he tried to strangle the woman and threatened to chop her up before she jumped out the first floor window of a locked hotel room after some of her clothes had been removed.

Melia had been arrested last Saturday near Beaumont Hospital where he had spent five days being treated for injuries he had sustained.

The following day he was sent back to hospital for another two days. Melia was in a wheelchair for his court appearance and Judge Patricia McNamara was told that he had broken both his ankles.

He was wearing a grey top and tracksuit bottoms and had one leg in a cast when he was brought into court.

Defence solicitor Cahir O'Higgins said the man was very ill, has epilepsy, and has indicated that he had recently also suffered a stroke.

Locking

Detective Sergeant Martin McInerney told Judge McNamara that Melia replied, "nothing to say" when the charges were put to him.

The officer objected to bail and told the court that Melia booked into Caulfield's hotel on Dorset Street on May 18.

It would be claimed he called the woman on his mobile phone and invited her to meet him in his hotel room.

They met outside and went to the room where it was claimed there was a dispute allegedly triggered by Melia.

Det Sgt McInerney said the woman made attempts to leave the locked room and on two occasions Melia "attempted to strangle the injured party, locking his arm around her neck".

It was also alleged he punched her in the face several times.

The court heard that he allegedly "threatened to chop up the injured party and kill her in the hotel room".

"It is alleged that during the course of the struggle the injured party broke free and managed to escape through the hotel window," the officer explained.

The woman had bruising to her neck and face but did not want to go to hospital.

Melia's next hearing will take place at Cloverhill District Court, on June 6.

hnews@herald.ie


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