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Man threatened to cut girlfriend's head off after grilling her on sex life, court told

By Alan Erwin

Published 11/05/2016

An allegedly violent partner quizzed his girlfriend about their sex life before telling her he would cut her head off, it was claimed at the High Court
An allegedly violent partner quizzed his girlfriend about their sex life before telling her he would cut her head off, it was claimed at the High Court

An allegedly violent partner quizzed his girlfriend about their sex life before telling her he would cut her head off, it was claimed at the High Court.

Prosecutors also revealed the woman claimed that John Hughes tried to choke her with a mobile phone lead in a separate outburst of violence.

Details emerged as 53-year-old Hughes was granted bail on condition that he stays out of Northern Ireland.

The accused, from Knockshee Park in Omagh, denies charges of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, attempted choking, possession of an offensive weapon, criminal damage, threats to kill and common assault.

He is alleged to have subjected the woman to attacks on dates between December 29, 2015 and April 30 this year.

Crown lawyer Stephanie Boyd said the alleged victim claimed Hughes punched and spat on her in the latest incident.

Days earlier he also questioned her about their sexual relationship before telling her to get out of bed, it was alleged.

It was also claimed that he slapped her and pulled her hair before headbutting her.

Detailing the woman's account, Mrs Boyd said Hughes then got a knife and allegedly threatened: "I'm going to chop your head off."

He moved the blade to her breast, causing a mark and some bleeding, the prosecution added.

Mr Justice Treacy was additionally told of a previous incident last December in which Hughes is accused of trying to choke his partner in a row.

The woman claimed he subjected her to verbal abuse and punched her before wrapping the phone cable around her neck and shouting: "You're going to die, you b******." She alleged that she was unable to breathe for a period, and that he then threw a bucket of water over her.

But defence counsel Sean Mullan stressed: "He has always denied these allegations."

Mr Mullan claimed there was precedent for his client facing false accusations of domestic violence. The PSNI did not oppose bail on the basis that the accused is to live at an address in the Dublin area.

Granting the application, the judge said: "He's very fortunate that the police and Prosecution Service have taken a certain view in this case.

"I can't say it's necessarily the view I would have ultimately shared on the facts of this case."

He banned Hughes from contacting the alleged victim or entering Northern Ireland except for court appearances and legal visits.

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