Derry Court House
A man prohibited from entering Northern Ireland without police permission has been remanded into custody for allegedly assaulting a pregnant woman.
During the hearing a Derry judge described the ‘continued government failure’ to address strangulation laws as a ‘national disgrace’.
Adam James McMonagle, 26, of Hall Lane in London, is charged with the common assault of a woman, theft of a mobile phone, driving license and bank card and disorderly behaviour on October 3.
He is further charged with assaulting two police officers, two counts of criminal damage and two counts of tampering with vehicles in the vicinity of the Springtown Road on the same date.
The defendant was also in breach of bail conditions which banned him from entering Northern Ireland without prior approval from the PSNI.
A police officer told the court that on October 3 police were tasked to a domestic incident in the Derrymore area of the city.
A female alleged that a defendant had assaulted her, items were thrown around the property and McMonagle ‘attempted to choke her’.
Police observed injuries including abrasions to her forearm and thumb.
The officer said that McMonagle had ripped the woman’s t-shirt off and left with her mobile phone, bank card and driving license.
The alleged injured party is 36 weeks pregnant, the officer added.
One witness said McMonagle was seen running from the property and dropping the mobile phone.
Members of the public claimed that the 26-year-old had been shouting in the street, ‘scaring children that were playing’.
The defendant was located at the rear of a nearby house and became ‘irate’ when approached by officers, the court heard.
When arrested for disorderly behaviour it is alleged that he assaulted two police officers, headbutting one of them on the nose.
Reports were also received that he tampered with vehicles, in one instance ‘frightening’ a female road user.
During police interview, McMonagle, who is on bail for a number of offences, made no comment.
A condition states that before returning to NI, he needs prior consent from the PSNI.
On September 28, McMonagle sent a text message to the investigating officer saying ‘I’m coming to Ireland.’
The following day another saying ‘I’m in Ireland’ despite not being granted permission by the police.
Bail was objected to on grounds that McMonagle will reoffend as someone with a 86 previous convictions and due to the risk of contacting the alleged injured party.
The officer added that the injured party did not want to pursue a formal complaint.
Representing the defendant, a barrister said he has been on bail since February living in London.
He did contact the investigating officer, she said, but acknowledged that a response had not been received.
Defence counsel added that the common assault was ‘very serious’ as he had his ‘hands around the injured party’s neck’.
But the disorderly behaviour and criminal damage ‘very minor’ in nature, she added.
The court had two options to ensure McMonagle stays away from the victim, she said, to remand him in custody or grant him bail back to London again.
District Judge Barney McElholm said: “If she has any concern for her unborn child she should pursue this.”
Referring to choking, he added that any victim should get a scan as research has shown there could be ‘serious damage’ to the carotid artery which can lead to a stroke down the line.
The district judge described the continued government failure to address strangulation as a ‘national disgrace’ and something that should be Westminster led.
“Under no circumstances will I be granting this thug bail…the sheer hubris of him saying ‘I’m coming back, here I am’ without permission.”
Bail was refused and the defendant appear before the court again today, October 8.
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