A man accused of breaking into a property and assaulting his ex-partner with a hammer has been granted bail at Derry Magistrate’s Court.
Diarmaid Paul Anderson, 31, has been charged with aggravated burglary with intent to inflict grievous bodily harm, attempted grievous bodily harm on a male and grievous bodily harm with intent on a female.
The alleged offences took place at an address in Main Street, Claudy, on March 5, 2020.
Anderson’s ex-partner was inside said property with a friend.
Providing evidence in court, a police officer said a male was seen outside banging on the door of the property and deflating car tyres.
The house occupant told police that the man responsible was his friend’s ex-partner.
The court heard that Anderson, whose address was given as Creggan Road in Randalstown, forced entry through the back door.
In fear, the defendant’s ex-partner and her friend locked themselves in a bedroom.
The PSNI officer said Anderson smashed a TV inside the property before banging on the bedroom door in an attempt to break it down.
His ex-girlfriend noticed that he was in possession of a hammer and left the room in a bid to calm him down.
As she did so, a police officer said, a scream could be heard and her friend then observed heavy bleeding from her head.
In a statement to police the alleged injured party said her ex-partner had been constantly ringing and texting after learning that she had been on a night out with another man.
The court was told that she informed him this man was just a friend.
It’s alleged that Anderson threatened to assault the male and to post ‘intimate videos’ of his ex-partner online.
The complainant arrived at her friend’s property, a police officer said, and one hour later the defendant turned up where the alleged offences were committed.
She said Anderson ‘battered’ his way into the house and into the bedroom with a mallet-type hammer.
A police officer submitted that when the alleged victim tried to ‘reason with him’, Anderson grabbed her mobile phone and struck her with a hammer a number of times.
The defendant subsequently evaded police for over a year.
When interviewed on May 23, 2021, he denied the offences before the court but admitted being at the property.
Police objected to bail due to a fear of interference with witnesses and absconding from court as the charges are ‘very serious’ and ‘may encourage him to flee’.
It is believed the defendant has been living in the south of Ireland as he’s in a relationship with a member of the Travelling community.
There are also concerns that Anderson will continue to offend and attempt to contact the alleged injured party as they have three children together.
She said Anderson has 16 convictions including a ‘violent incident that led to the death’ of a male.
Defence barrister Joel Lindsay said the alleged offences took places months ago and there has been no attempt to ‘harangue’.
He added that efforts were being made for him to voluntarily attend the police station.
Drug and alcohol issues have also been dealt with over the past six months, he said.
The court was told that Anderson has ‘no reason’ to be near Claudy.
Mr Lindsay said his client could stay away and attend with his GP to provide proof that he will continue to engage with addiction services.
Deputy District Judge Liam McStay described the charges as ‘serious’, relating to an ex-partner and there was a ‘high level of violence on display’.
If the alleged offences had been committed recently, he said, there would be a concern about contact.
However, with the ‘passage of time and what Anderson has done with it’, it has ‘somewhat assuaged concerns’.
Bail was granted to an address on Largy Road in Portglenone.
Anderson was excluded from entering Claudy village as defined by the 30mph zone, he will have a curfew of 7pm-7am, must make contact with his GP upon release and make any contact with his children through social services.
He will appear at a court sitting again on June 21.
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