Belfast Telegraph

Monday 28 July 2014

Man 'raped and burned partner in a year of violence'

A man raped and burned his partner as part of an alleged year-long campaign of violence, the High Court has heard.

He is accused of beating and trying to strangle the woman, as well as threatening to claim she was involved in child kidnapping if she told police.

Bruising to her body, scratch marks and two bald patches were discovered after she made a complaint.

A burn mark on her hand, allegedly caused by a lighter, was also detected, prosecutors said.

The defendant, a 36-year-old Co Down man who cannot be named to protect the woman’s identity, denies charges of rape and aggravated assault. He was refused bail due to the risk of reoffending.

A judge was told the man allegedly attacked his partner following a barbecue in Banbridge on May 31.

Setting out the woman's account, Fiona O'Kane, prosecuting, said: “He told her he was going to rape her but stopped as he said she would get too much pleasure from it.”

It was alleged that he then dragged her onto a sofa and forced her into non-consensual sex.

The woman later escaped while the accused was unconscious, and went to police in a distressed and intoxicated state, the court heard.

She claimed to have met him a year earlier, and that he frequently beat and burned her, the court heard. During that period the couple had consensual and forceful sex, according to the woman.

“Her account was that it was better to have sex with the applicant than be beaten,” Mrs O'Kane said.

“The applicant contacted her on a number of occasions by phone and advised her if she went to police he would tell them that she and her uncle went around in a vehicle kidnapping children.”

A defence barrister questioned the credibility of the allegations against his client because the woman had previously claimed rape only to subsequently withdraw her complaint.

“He denies the offence. We say he's entitled to the presumption of innocence,” the lawyer added.

But after hearing both sides Lord Justice Coghlin ruled that bail should be refused because of the threat of potential new offences being committed.

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