Belfast Telegraph

Man allegedly 'tried to choke his partner and threatened to cut her fingers off with scissors'

By Alan Erwin

A man allegedly tried to choke his partner and threatened to cut her fingers off with scissors in a drink-fuelled assault, the High Court heard today.

James Doran also put a pillow over the woman's face to stop her screaming and attacked her children when they tried to intervene, prosecutors claimed.

The 51-year-old denies charges of possession of an offensive weapon, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and two counts of common assault over the incident in west Belfast.

He claims instead that the woman attacked him with a mop and tried to stab him with broken glass.

According to a defence lawyer her son then swung a garden ornament at him as he attempted to get away while still naked.

Doran, a telecommunications worker of no fixed address, was granted bail to stay with a friend in the Dunmurry area.

He is accused of launching an attack after arriving drunk at his partner's La Salle Drive home on May 8.

She claims he knocked her to the ground and trailed her by the hair to an upstairs bedroom.

Stephanie Boyd, prosecuting, said it was alleged that he tried to choke her before putting a pillow over her face.

"She said she was terrified for her life," the barrister told the court.

"The defendant then took a pair of scissors, threatening to cut her fingers off and placing her fingers between the blades."

At this stage the woman's teenage daughter arrived home and was punched when she tried to help her mother, it was alleged.

Defence counsel Sean Mullen argued, however, that his client had been the victim.

The court heard claims that Doran's partner texted him at work asking if he fancied a "duvet day" involving a few drinks.

By the time he arrived she had already been drinking and attacked him after they slept for a while, according to his version.

At one stage a scuffle broke out while Doran was wearing nothing other than a coat.

He fell down stairs and tried to get away from the house before the woman's son arrived and swung the ornament at him, Mr Mullen contended.

"At no stage did he hold any scissors and at no stage did he hold her by the neck," the barrister added.

After hearing the conflicting accounts Mr Justice O'Hara decided to grant bail.

The judge banned Doran from contacting the alleged victims or going anywhere near their home.

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