Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 25 December 2014

Abuse footage accused gets bail for grandmother's funeral

A man allegedly found with mobile phone footage of a woman's hair being burnt and shaved to be kept as a "trophy'' has been granted compassionate bail to attend his grandfather's funeral.
A man allegedly found with mobile phone footage of a woman's hair being burnt and shaved to be kept as a "trophy'' has been granted compassionate bail to attend his grandfather's funeral

A man allegedly found with mobile phone footage of a woman's hair being burnt and shaved to be kept as a "trophy'' has been granted compassionate bail to attend his grandfather's funeral.

Nathon Telford (23), from Ahoghill, Ballymena, is currently in custody accused of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and two counts of attempted grievous bodily harm with intent.

No details of the nature of offences were given at Belfast Crown Court.

However, at previous High Court hearing in March this year when bail was refused, a prosecution lawyer said Telford was arrested last year by detectives investigating an unrelated matter and seized his mobile phone. The High Court judge was told that the phone was found to contain a video recording and photographs of a "vulnerable woman'' who was allegedly being abused by the defendant and other suspects.

"When the injured party awoke she discovered that her hair had been cut, burnt and shaved in places,'' the High Court heard on that occasion.

"There were letters penned on her forehead and she had no recollection of the incident having occurred. She stated that she didn't immediately contact police as she was shocked, traumatised and very afraid.''

Speaking about the photographs, the lawyer added: "Police believe these to have been what is referred to as trophy images of the abuse suffered.''

At yesterday's hearing, a prosecution lawyer said the Crown had no objections to Telford's compassionate bail application to attend his grandfather's funeral today.

Judge Stephen Fowler QC granted the bail application and said Telford was to be picked up at Maghaberry Prison this morning by a relative and returned to the jail by 6pm.

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