Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 September 2014

Woman allegedly attacked by ex-partner in Belfast hotel room was working there as a prostitute, court hears

A woman allegedly attacked and threatened by her ex-partner in a Belfast hotel room was there working as a prostitute, the High Court heard today.

Their infant son was also present when the alleged assault occurred last month, a judge was told.

The woman claims a knife was put to her throat after she refused to have sex with the accused, a 38-year-old chef.

According to her account he also tried to get her to abandon her three other children and move with him to London.

The man, a Bangladeshi national who cannot be named to protect his son's identity, faces charges of common assault and threats to kill.

He was granted bail but banned from entering Belfast or contacting the alleged victim.

Police and ambulance services were called to the Ramada Encore in the city centre on March 19.

En route to the hotel officers received another call from a foreign-sounding man claiming the woman was a prostitute who had been attacked by a customer, the court heard.

When they arrived the badly bruised woman claimed the accused had turned up demanding she leave Northern Ireland with him and their young son.

Prosecuting counsel Conor Maguire told the court: "She said an argument developed and the applicant suggested they have sex.

"She said she declined and that he pulled her hair and trailed her about the room."

The alleged ordeal, involving punching, kicking and being threatened with a knife, lasted for around an hour.

It was claimed the woman escaped and screamed  for help before her ex-partner walked out, leaving the baby in the room.

He was not arrested until police found him hiding under a car in the city centre last week, Mr Maguire added.

The barrister alleged the accused has tried to contact the woman while in custody.

"She also received text messages from other phone numbers stating that the applicant has paid them £500 to kill her," Mr Maguire said.

The man denies the charges, claiming she had already been assaulted when he arrived at the hotel, according to defence lawyer Mark Farrell.

He made contact because of deep concerns for the welfare of their son, the court heard.

Mr Farrell said: "This man's partner, the injured party, left him and she began working as a prostitute in the Belfast area, staying in hotels and apartments and selling her services.

"The child had been exposed to this. It's a very tragic case."

After being informed that social services are now involved, Mr Justice O'Hara granted bail for the man to stay at an address in Co Down.

The accused is to work at an Indian restaurant in the area as part of his release conditions.

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