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07 Jul 2022

Man accused of assaulting pregnant partner remanded in custody

Court gavel

A man who is accused of assaulting his pregnant partner breaking her finger and biting her has been remanded in custody at Derry Magistrate's Court today after the court heard he was deemed to be 'a violent offender'.

Gérard Given (31) of Circular Road in Derry was charged with inflicting grievous bodily harm on a female on June 4 and assaulting her on June 3.

Both charges were said to be aggravated by domestic abuse.

A police officer connected the accused to the charges and opposed bail.

She told the court that around 10am on June 4 police were called by a third party who said his neighbour had come to his door covered in blood, soaking wet and asking him to phone the police.

The woman told police she had returned after being out all night and the defendant was alleged to have said to her "wait until you see what happens now".

She said Given struck her "multiple times", stamped on her and kicked her. The woman continued to say that he had pushed her down on the stairs then grabbed her by the hair and dragged her up the stairs.

The court heard that the woman "honestly thought he was going to kill her".

He was alleged to have assaulted her again before telling her to clean up the blood.

The police were told she was cleaning herself when the defendant went into another room and she managed to run out.

The woman was taken to hospital and found to have a wound on her forehead, a broken finger, a bite to her wrist and bruising to her body. She is 17 weeks pregnant and a scan revealed the baby was okay.

Police were told that the alleged victim told police Given had also assaulted her on June 3 when she was driving by punching and slapping her.

The police officer told the court that police checked the house and found it to be "in disarray" with "multiple blood stains" on the walls going up the stairs.

Police could not locate Given after making multiple attempts and on June 5 the defendant handed himself in.

At interview the defendant said he was not in a relationship with the woman and just had sex with her a few times and said they were "just friends".

He told police he had attended a concert with the woman on Friday night but he had gone home early and went to his mother's house.

The man denied even seeing the woman on June 4 and claimed he had been working on a farm in Donegal from 8am on Saturday.

The officer told the court that police had spoken to the farmer who said Given had been at work but hadn't started until 3pm and worked until 8 pm.

Bail was opposed due to the risk of re-offending and the officer said he had 63 previous convictions and had a domestic history with four previous partners as well as his mother and sister.

She said Given was a registered sex offender and was currently on probation and on license.

The court heard that the alleged victim was "very fearful of repercussions" for making a statement.

Defence solicitor Paddy MacDermott said his client had handed himself in to police.

He said Given claimed he had not seen the woman at all on Saturday and maintained he was at work all day.

Mr MacDermott said his client claimed the farmer must be "confused". He said there were "evidential issues" and repeated that Given denied causing any injury.

District Judge Oonagh Mullen said the police had outlined the case in a comprehensive manner.

She said she would not grant bail as she did not find his claims 'credible'

Given was remanded in custody to appear again on June 30.

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