Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 23 July 2014

Nose-bite attack accused fails in fresh bid for bail

A former civil servant had just left court when he allegedly battered a woman with a bag of beer tins and bit her nose, a judge heard.

Mark Henry Dane had downed two tins of strong cider before attacking the victim when she tried to stop him boarding a bus in Belfast city centre, prosecutors claimed.

He is accused of holding the woman by the head and locking his teeth into her face.

Dane (30), of Rosslea Way, Newtownabbey, is charged with attempting to cause grievous bodily harm with intent over the August 28 incident.

He failed in a new bid to gain High Court bail, with the judge identifying prima facie evidence of a “vicious assault on an innocent bystander”.

Police were alerted to the attack at a bus stop outside Central Library on Royal Avenue by CCTV operators.

Footage showed the 36-year-old victim struggling with a man she had tried to prevent from getting onto a bus.

Fiona O'Kane, prosecuting, claimed the attacker could be seen repeatedly hitting her across the face with a Tesco bag containing beer tins.

She added: “The applicant held the female with both hands by her head and proceeded to bite her across her face, holding on to her with his teeth for a considerable period of time.”

It was claimed that he then let go and kicked her about the head when she fell to the ground.

The woman needed four staples for her nose wound, with head X-rays delayed because it was so swollen.

She later claimed to have tried to stop Dane getting on the bus because she had witnessed him assault another man nearby.

Dane told police, however, that the woman attacked him first.

Mrs O'Kane revealed that the incident took place immediately after the accused left court on unconnected matters.

Defence barrister Jonathan Browne disclosed that Dane had worked as an administrative officer at Castle Buildings, Stormont, for two years and referred to the accused’s battle with alcoholism.

Refusing bail, Mr Justice Horner referred to the victim’s injuries: “She was simply acting in a commendable and public-spirited way in trying to apprehend the applicant,” he said.

“Her reward was to be assaulted with a Tesco bag containing tins of beer and she suffered considerable injuries.”

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