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Man 'forced ex's head into water'

By Ashleigh McDonald

Published 10/02/2016

A man accused of forcing his partner's head under water in the bathroom of a house was yesterday denied bail
A man accused of forcing his partner's head under water in the bathroom of a house was yesterday denied bail

A man accused of forcing his partner's head under water in the bathroom of a house was yesterday denied bail.

Belfast Crown Court was told Paul Knell (21), from Inverleith Drive in the east of the city, attacked the woman on June 28.

Prosecutor Peter Magill said the alleged victim, who has since split from Knell, was unable to recall how many times her head had been forced under the water as she may have lost consciousness.

The defendant denied common assault and choking and claimed he and his partner had been drinking and that she attacked him. He made an application for bail that police opposed as he was on a suspended sentence for an attack on the same woman at the time of the latest alleged crime.

Mr Magill also said Knell had a "bad history of attending court" and that police have had to seek him out several times.

Defence counsel Denis Boyd said his client had spent seven months on remand and added that, if he was released, there was a "real prospect" he would find work as a scaffolder.

But denying bail, Judge David McFarland said there was a "real risk" of Knell "targeting this unfortunate lady".

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