Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 1 October 2014

Pregnant woman 'kneed in stomach by her ex-partner'

A man allegedly kneed his pregnant ex-partner in the stomach and said he hoped their baby would either die or be born deformed, the High Court has heard.

Liam Canning is accused of carrying out the attack during a row at her home after he returned from being out all night.

The 27-year-old is to face a charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm because the woman suffered a perforated eardrum, according to the |prosecution.

Canning, of Kings Lane, Ballykelly, denies the allegations and claims any injuries inflicted were in self-defence when she came at him with a curtain pole.

He was refused bail due to the risk of interference with the alleged victim.

The court heard an argument started when Canning arrived at the house in Ballykelly, Co Londonderry, at around 7am on September 24.

Conor Maguire, prosecuting, said it was alleged that he grabbed the five-months’ pregnant woman by the hair, held her bent over and kneed her in the stomach and face.

It was claimed that Canning left her lying on the ground, walked off and then returned.

Setting out his ex-partner's version of events, Mr Maguire said: “He shouted that he hoped the baby would die or be born |deformed.”

Police called to the scene found the woman with facial bruising and redness, he added.

Mr Maguire said the original charge of common assault is to be amended to a more serious allegation based on the discovery of a perforated eardrum.

He said that the woman claimed she’d been put under pressure to withdraw her complaint when she went with Canning to a police station last week.

The barrister also said: “It's of particular concern that the injured party alleged that the applicant tried to hurt her stomach.”

Refusing bail, Lord Justice Higgins described the woman's pregnant condition as a worrying aspect of the case.

The judge based his decision on the alleged attempt to pressure her into dropping her complaint and the unsuitability of a proposed bail address.

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