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Man accused of assaulting his partner refused bail at Derry court because of ‘high risk of serious offending’

Defendant also breached his bail conditions

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A judge has refused to grant bail at Derry Magistrates Court to a man accused of committing domestic violence offences on the grounds that his alleged offending has ‘escalated’.

Kieran Paul McLaughlin, 31, has been charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm and common assault on February 26, 2021.

The court was told that the defendant also breached bail.

He was on bail for alleged offences against the same injured party.

One alleged incident dates back to August 3, 2020, when the defendant is accused of pushing the victim against a wall, then kicking and spitting on her.

A police officer said that in September the same victim accused McLaughlin, of Carraloan Road in Magherafelt, of entering their bedroom, calling the complainant a liar and grabbing her by the throat.

It’s also alleged that he headbutted the woman causing a busted lip and banged her head off a wall on that occasion.

The court was told that on October 6 of last year the complainant collected McLaughlin from a pub when he called her a ‘fat pig’.

The alleged victim said he ‘wanted an argument’ and refused to leave when asked.

A police officer said McLaughlin then pushed her in the chest and made pig noises.

“He then walked to the hall, the injured party followed him.

“He grabbed her by the throat and bit her on the cheek.

“He pulled her and threw her to the ground, kicked her upper left leg and she left to go to the police station.”

When interviewed by police in relation to those cases, he gave ‘no comment’ answers.

The latest alleged incident occurred when the defendant arrived at the victim’s house, kicked at the door and then pushed in, according to the police.

He’s accused of slapping, biting her on the forearm’ and attempting to bite the palm of her hand by ‘tearing with his teeth like some sort of animal’.

The complainant also alleged that he covered her mouth with his hand and told her to shut up.

She then managed to escape and he left in a car, the court heard.

A landlord was said to have contacted the complainant about damage caused to a rear window.

When police attended the address, McLaughlin was found ‘hiding in an upstairs closet’.

He was conveyed to the PSNI Coleraine custody suite and during police interview confirmed that the alleged injured party was his partner.

They had been living together for the last year, the 31-year-old added.

McLaughlin accepted he had bail conditions in place which banned them from having contact.

Referring to the incident from February 26, the defendant said his partner collected him and he had a ‘few cans of Harp’.

The 31-year-old accused his partner of slapping him four times and coming at him with a knife which caused a slice on his arm.

McLaughlin was ‘adamant’ that he acted in self-defence and feared for his safety, a police officer said.

The defendant told police that he was pulled to the ground and hit his head off a bannister.

When she left he continued to drink.

She arrived back the next day and told him to pack his stuff, he told police officers.

McLaughlin travelled to Castledawson where the told was told he drank alone in a field.

The defendant said he returned to the property where he noticed a window broken and hid on police because he knew he wasn’t supposed to have contact with the complainant.

Outlining his objections to bail, a police officer said he believed McLaughlin would continue to have contact with the alleged injured party and commit further offences.

In response, a defence barrister said the last conviction his client had was in 2014.

He told the court that the complainant has made a withdrawal statement.

Defence counsel said McLaughlin completely accepts the relationship is at an end and he will not be returning to make contact with the alleged injured party.

He has three children with other individuals and doesn’t want to put his job as a plasterer at risk.

Deputy District Judge McStay said the defendant was on bail to have no contact and described as ‘very concerning’ the allegations made and his domestic violence history.

He added that there are accusations of grabbing by the throat, biting and an ‘escalation’ to ‘suffocation’.

Judge McStay said McLaughlin admits assault but says it was done in self-defence.

Bail was refused due to the ‘high risk of serious offending’.

The defendant will appear in court again by way of video link from prison on March 24.

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