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04 Jul 2022

Man charged with alleged assault on partner released on bail

Court gavel

Derry Magistrate's Court heard today how a woman was afraid a local man would "torture" her after he appeared in court charged with assaulting the woman.

Aaron Thornton (35) of Dove Gardens in Derry appeared charged with assaulting a female on June 7 aggravated by domestic abuse.

He was also charged with falsely imprisoning her on that date again aggravated by domestic abuse. 

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

The court heard that police were called to an address where a woman alleged she had been assaulted by her partner Thornton.

She told police Thornton was drinking at her property and became aggressive and she feared she was "unsafe".

The woman tried to get her three children out of the house and succeeded in getting two older children out but a five month baby was in a cot in the room where Thornton was.

She alleged that Thornton pushed her and would not let her leave.

At interview Thornton denied the assault and said while they had a verbal altercation he had not pushed her. 

Bail was opposed due to the risk of re-offending as the defendant had 16 previous convictions and was currently serving a suspended sentence.

The court heard that Thornton had been arrested last year for an assault on the same woman. 

Defence solicitor Seamus Quigley said that his client was a carer for his seriously ill mother. He added that the defendant spent most nights with his mother. 

He asked the officer Thornton had "spoken freely" with police and was told he had.

The solicitor said that the case could be managed with bail conditions.

Thornton was released on bail on condition he did not enter the Waterside area of Derry and has no contact with the alleged victim. 

He will appear again next month. 

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