Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 24 April 2014

Man accused of stabbing woman as she cradled baby

A woman was stabbed in the stomach as she held her young child in her arms, the High Court has heard.

The victim's partner is accused of carrying out the attack at his home in north Belfast, prosecutors said.

James McDonagh (21), of Ballyclare Court in the city, denies a charge of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

He was refused bail after a judge decided that releasing him would create too great a risk to the victim.

Police were called out to a disturbance at McDonagh's address in the early hours of October 7.

The court was told the woman, with whom he has an on-off relationship, had suffered a stab wound to the stomach. No details were disclosed on the extent of her injuries.

But a prosecution barrister said: “A particular worrying factor was that the couple's 14-month old child was present and indeed in the arms of the mother when the incident happened.”

McDonagh ran from the house but was later detained and denied carrying out the stabbing, the court heard.

It was claimed that the victim has written to him while in custody, although no evidence was produced to back this up.

Defence counsel John O'Connor added: “He did tell police there were other people in the house and that he denied that he stabbed her.”

However, Mr Justice Treacy noted that no full account was given to police by the accused.

The judge stated: “He has provided no explanation for the context, other than denying it.

“The risk to his partner is too great to justify releasing him on bail.”

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