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11 Aug 2022

Derry judge hits out at 'rough sex' defence claim

Man accused of assault branded a 'disgrace to his gender and an embarrassment to us all'

Derry judge hits out at  'rough sex' defence claim

Derry Resident Magistrate Barney McElholm

Derry's District Judge has said that anyone who uses the 'rough sex' defence is 'a disgrace to his gender and an embarrassment to us all.'

Judge Barney McElholm was speaking as he remanded a man charged with domestic violence offences into custody.

Jason Cooke (27), of Dunvale Close, off Duncreggan Road in the city, appeared at the local Magistrate's Court charged with assaulting a female on June 22 and engaging in abusive behaviour on the same date.

Connecting Cooke to the charges and opposing bail, a PSNI officer told the court police were called to a report of an ongoing domestic incident. 

When they arrived at the door they could hear a female screaming from inside and despite knocking they were refused entry.

The screaming continued and eventually police broke the door down and found a female in a 'distressed state.'

The woman told police she had gone to the flat with a motorcycle part the defendant had been looking for and claimed Cooke had beaten her, pulled her hair and forced two fingers down her throat.

The woman also said the defendant held a lit cigarette over the open petrol tank of a motorbike that was in the flat.

The court heard that police were called by the alleged victim's mother who said her daughter had made a video call to her and she had seen Cooke grab her by the 'scruff of the neck'.

The woman's grand- mother also said she had called her to say Cooke had 'beaten her black and blue.'

During police interview, Cooke said there had been a verbal altercation but denied assaulting the woman.
He said she had made it up to get him arrested.

When asked about marks on the woman he said she liked 'rough sex.'

Bail was opposed due to the risk of re-offending as the defendant had 52 previous convictions and had been sentenced to a suspended sentence two weeks earlier for assaulting the same woman.

The police officer said officers said they heard the woman say to Cooke that he had been beating her for the last three years and it was stopping.

Defence solicitor Seamus Quigley told the court the case was almost certainly going on.

He said there may be CCTV that could be relevant and asked for bail with appropriate conditions.

Judge McElholm said he could not conceive of any conditions 'that one could place on a creature like this.'

He said Cooke was 'a serial domestic abuser' and added that he 'didn't deserve to be walking in the community'.

He remanded Cooke in custody to appear again on July 21.

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