Belfast Telegraph

Court told of woman's head shaving ordeal

By Michael Donnelly

A Ballymena man allegedly heard encouraging others to shave the head of a sleeping woman, whose hair had already been set alight, failed in his bid to get Crown Court bail.

Judge Donna McColgan told 42-year-old Paul Joshua Balmer that in spite of "the valiant efforts" of his defence barrister, she was refusing him bail.

Balmer, whose address was given care of Maghaberry Prison, denies three charges, two of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, and one of assault, all between May 17 and 23 last year.

Prosecution lawyer Neil Connor claimed police identified Balmer's voice from mobile phone footage of the woman being assaulted by him and three others. Balmer, he said, could be heard telling the others: "Get a razor, everybody take a turn".

Balmer, was then allegedly heard adding: "Get a hatchet... no point doing a bad haircut."

Defence lawyer Aaron Thompson said Balmer had been in custody for over a year, and despite police objections, his mother was willing to provide the Ballymena man with an address outside the town.

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