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Man faces charge of kidnapping his girlfriend

By Alan Erwin

Published 15/04/2015

Matthew Gillard
Matthew Gillard

A man accused of kidnapping his girlfriend and driving at a policeman who mounted a rescue attempt later allegedly threatened to "ruin her life in every way", the High Court has heard.

Matthew Gillard (25) has provided no account for his suspected actions to either police or his legal team, a judge was told.

Refusing his application for bail, Mr Justice Treacy said: "The absence of an explanation for this extremely terrifying incident is a matter of concern."

Gillard, of Connsbrook Avenue in east Belfast, faces charges of kidnapping, false imprisonment, common assault, assault on a police officer and dangerous driving, all on April 4.

Prosecution counsel claimed Gillard and his girlfriend were in his car at a McDonald's in the city when he started questioning her about who she was seeing and her use of social media.

The woman became afraid and tried to get out of vehicle, but he refused to let her go, saying "he wasn't finished with her yet," the prosecutor said.

At one stage the woman managed to escape when the car stopped in Comber, the court heard. But it was claimed that Gillard drove after her, and carried her back over his shoulder.

An off-duty police sergeant spotted the woman being thrown into the car, the judge was told. "He tried to intervene, stating he was a police officer, and stood in front of the car," the prosecution counsel said. "But the applicant drove at him, forcing him to get out of the way."

Refusing bail, Mr Justice Treacy said: "After the relevant events he allegedly told the victim not to report or he would ruin her life in every way." Citing the risks of re-offending or interfering with the course of justice, the judge added: "I'm concerned that the applicant poses a real danger to the complainant in this case."

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