A man accused of murdering his fiancee on the day they were due to be married has claimed that her death was caused by falls in her apartment, the High Court has heard.
A lawyer for Paul Stockman (53) said that apart from facial injuries sustained by Patricia Bardon (51), there was no evidence of violence.
“The police case is that there was blunt force trauma but he is adamant that the injuries were the result of her falling on her face,” said barrister Richard McConkey.
Stockman, from Bendigo Street, Belfast, has denied murdering Ms Bardon in her apartment at Elm Court, off Donegall Pass, Belfast, in August.
Opposing his bail application, Crown counsel Philip Henry said Stockman told police that Ms |Bardon had fallen off a toilet seat, hitting her head on the floor, and he helped put her to bed.
Mr Henry said Stockman denied any part in causing her death and claimed the injuries resulted from two falls, one on the day of her death and the other a couple of days previously.
Defence counsel Mr McConkey said both parties suffered from alcohol dependency and after the second fall Ms Bardon declined medical treatment and went to bed. He said Stockman later became concerned about her condition and contacted the warden at Elm Court.
She called an ambulance but Ms Bardon was dead when the crew arrived.
Refusing bail, Mr Justice Hart said there was a prima facie case against Stockman, at least of manslaughter.
Stockman and Ms Bardon are understood to have been in a relationship for five years.
At the time of the alleged murder the couple were living together at the Elm Court property.
The cause of Ms Bardon’s death has still not been released and no details of her injuries were revealed in court.
However, police have described it as a “terrible tragedy”.