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Babe-in-arms hurt after being dropped as knife accused assaulted mum

By Alan Erwin

Published 23/04/2016

A baby suffered head injuries after being dropped when her mother was assaulted at knifepoint, the High Court heard yesterday
A baby suffered head injuries after being dropped when her mother was assaulted at knifepoint, the High Court heard yesterday

A baby suffered head injuries after being dropped when her mother was assaulted at knifepoint, the High Court heard yesterday.

Prosecutors said the 19-month-old child fell to the ground during the struggle on Bloomfield Avenue in east Belfast on April 8.

Details emerged during a bail hearing for a 49-year-old Slovakian man accused of targeting the woman as part of an escalating feud.

Otto Dansco, from Templemore Avenue, also in the east of the city, denies charges of common assault, threats to kill, possessing an offensive weapon in a public place and criminal damage to a coat.

According to prosecution counsel, Dansco grabbed the victim - a vulnerable 20-year-old woman - while she was carrying her young daughter.

It was claimed that he pointed a knife at the woman and said: "I will kill you."

She was also subjected to further verbal abuse, being called a "b****" and "prostitute", the court was told.

The prosecuting barrister said: "During the struggle the child fell out of her arms and onto the footpath and was later taken to the Royal Victoria Hospital for assessment to head injuries."

Police are still seeking a medical report on the incident.

Mr Justice Burgess was told that CCTV footage from the scene showed Dansco get something from the boot of a car and then run up Bloomfield Road, as if he was giving chase to someone.

The alleged victim was said to live in a different part of Belfast from the accused, who works for a cleaning services company.

Reference was made to other incidents potentially connected to the suspected feud.

In some of those, Dansco is the complainant.

Stressing that bail depended on imposing an exclusion zone around parts of the city, the judge said: "Listening to this, the only way I can stop all of this is locking them all up."

He also requested details on the addresses of all those involved in a bid to keep them apart.

Dansco is set to be released on bail conditions that include having no contact with the alleged victim or members of her family.

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