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Accused assaulted victim for over a decade, court told

By Staff Reporter

A court has heard a disturbing account of violence that is claimed to have gone on for more than 10 years and left the victim with severe injuries and petrified for her life.

Sergej Rudnickij (31), originally a resident in Dungannon but currently remanded in custody, is accused of numerous offences against a woman and her seven-year-old child.

He appeared via video-link for a bail application at the town's Magistrates Court, which was strongly opposed by police.

An officer explained police were contacted by social services on January 27 to say the victim had contacted them in a very distressed state after Rudnickij had threatened to kill her.

Specialist officers attended to the victim, who stated she had been "bullied and assaulted" by the accused for the last 10 years.

She said that she could not recall a single day where an incident hadn't occurred and the abuse had also been escalating.

The victim was terrified to report this as Rudnickij had warned that he would kill her and her parents.

On one occasion it is alleged the defendant asked the victim for money. When she told him that she didn't have any, he grabbed her by the back of the neck and punched her six times to the ribs. This occurred in front of the woman's child.

A few days later Rudnickij again allegedly asked for money and when refused took hold of the victim and told her he would kill her. He also supposedly took the child's phone and sold it.

Another episode occurred when Rudnickij is said to have emptied the contents of a mug over the victim, then struck her on the head with the mug. This alleged incident was witnessed by the victim's mother and the defendant threatened to kill them both.

Rudnickij threatened that he would "cut (the victim's) face" if she told anyone about the abuse.

There were other incidents in which the defendant appeared to explode for no reason, and as his temper rose his eyes would bulge and his face would become very red, the court heard.

In the midst of one of these outbursts, Rudnickij trailed the victim into the bathroom, pushed her head down the toilet and flushed it repeatedly while saying: "I'm going to see you drown."

The situation became unbearable and the victim approached social services, who then alerted police. Rudnickij was arrested and denied all allegations put to him. Opposing bail, the police officer referred to concerns Rudnickij would act on his threat to track down the victim and her parents.

A defence barrister said while the allegations are serious, his client was entitled to the presumption of innocence, and put forward an address at a Simon Community hostel.

However, District Judge John Meehan threw the application out. The case is due for mention on June 21.

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