Convicted killer accused of assaulting and ‘urinating’ on partner

Derry courthouse

Derry courthouse at Bishop Street.

A man previously convicted of manslaughter who has a history of domestic violence has been remanded into custody after being charged with assaulting his partner.

Gareth Wray, 42, of Cornshell Fields has been charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm on Sunday, December 5.

The court heard that on the date in question police received a report from the injured party around 3.30pm.

She said an ‘argument’ took place over an allegation of an affair.

A police officer said that the woman left the bedroom and was ‘pulled back by the hair’.

“At the bottom of the stairs he banged her head off the wall,” she added, “and punched her causing swelling.”

The alleged victim then ran outside where her father, who she rang earlier, collected her.

More details were provided by the complainant who said an argument took place in Wray’s bedroom around 2am about an alleged affair.

The court was told that the defendant ‘punched her’, he then stopped to get a drink before ‘urinating on top of her’.

Police ‘strongly objected to bail’ describing Wray as a ‘very violent offender’ who has a criminal record for the same type of offences.

In 2007 he was convicted of manslaughter.

The officer said the 42-year-old has ‘serious issues controlling his anger which appear to be unaddressed’ and he is ‘likely to commit further offences’.

She believed that he may fail to surrender if released on bail and has ‘issues with self-harm’.

During police interview Wray had ‘no recollection’ of the incident but ‘continued to demean the victim’ giving ‘in-depth details about their sexual activities’.

The PSNI officer said he has a history of domestic violence and the complainant is the ‘sixth partner’ he has assaulted.

A ten-year restraining order is in place in respect of one victim.

Defence barrister Eoghan Devlin asked what evidence has to be gathered as there can ‘sometimes be fairly considerable delays’.

He was told that two statements are outstanding and the victim has to be assessed by a medical professional.

Police weren’t sure if she intended to arrange an appointment as she was ‘highly emotional’ when speaking to police and ‘wanted to be in the safety of her own house’.

The police officer did say that photos were taken of the injuries.

They show bruising to both eyes, a cut under her right eye and mark to her left eye.

Mr Devlin told the court that Wray was ‘highly intoxicated’ and denies the offences.

District Judge Barney McElholm said it occurred to him that the alleged urination would have to be investigated and the victim should be encouraged to go to a doctor.

“You would think the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) would give serious consideration to taking it to the Crown Court given his violent history.

“No address in the city would be suitable.

“But I would hesitate to inflict this thug on anyone else.

“He’s a completely unsuitable candidate given his history of violence, particularly towards women.”

The case was adjourned until December 31.

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