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Attack accused Ards man claims his partner head-butted wall

A Co Down man allegedly stamped on his partner during a row over cocaine use, the High Court heard today.

Marc Bruce is accused of kicking and punching the woman's face after they had been to a party earlier this month.

The 27-year-old, of Mill Street in Newtownards, denies a charge of grievous bodily harm, claiming she self-harmed by head-butting a wall.

Details emerged as he was granted bail but banned from any contact with the alleged victim.

Bruce was arrested after police were called to the woman's home early on December 4.

Prosecutor Kate McKay said she had bruising and swelling to her head, face and neck.

It was alleged that Bruce had come home drunk, woke the woman up and got her to go to a party.

A row between the couple over his alleged cocaine use turned violent after they returned to the property, according to Mrs McKay.

Bruce head-butted the woman, threw her over a table and repeatedly punched her as she tried to fight back, she alleged.

The barrister added: "She said he pushed her onto a sofa, she curled up in a ball and he stamped on her."

Bruce denied any assault, telling police: "She was head-butting the wall."

He also claimed the woman had hit her head off her mother's car a few days earlier.

Defence counsel Richard McConkey argued that independent evidence backs his client's description of the woman's behaviour.

Acknowledging the point based on a police report of a previous incident, Mr Justice Colton said both the accused and alleged victim appear to have significant alcohol problems.

Granting bail for Bruce to live under curfew at an address in Millisle, the judge also barred him from entering Newtownards

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