Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland woman's leg broken by her online date, court told

By Staff Reporter

A woman suffered a fractured leg after being savagely attacked on a first date with a man she met on the online dating site Plenty of Fish, a court heard.

Graham Rainey (44) is accused of unlawfully and maliciously inflicting grievous bodily harm on the woman on Sunday.

It is further alleged he caused criminal damage to curtains and a picture frame belonging to the victim.

At Armagh Magistrates Court yesterday, an officer confirmed the charges could be connected to the defendant.

Objecting to bail, a prosecution lawyer said the victim met Rainey, of Ashbeg Road, Dungannon, via the dating website last Friday.

They exchanged phone numbers and arranged to meet the next day, with the victim inviting Rainey to come to her Armagh home.

This went ahead and the couple went to a local bar before taking a taxi back to the victim's house.

On entering the house the victim claimed Rainey "flipped out", pushing her to the floor.

While on the ground it is alleged she was repeatedly kicked and stamped on, with her left leg sustaining the majority of the blows.

She tried to wriggle away on the floor, but Rainey - described as being "in a frenzy" - pounded on her back. It was claimed Rainey then "suddenly stopped and left the house".

The victim went to bed and was woken by extreme pain at 4.30am.

She called an ambulance and was taken to Craigavon Area Hospital, where it was found that her leg was fractured.

Police were alerted and arrested Rainey, who denied responsibility for any assault.

He accepted meeting up with the victim at her home and then going drinking in an Armagh bar.

However, he maintained it was the victim who "went nuts" on returning from the bar, and claimed she had been throwing things about her home. He told police "he'd seen enough" and left the scene.

Rainey denied any kicking or punching took place, but was unable to give an account for the injuries or the damage that was caused.

After being cautioned for causing grievous bodily harm, he said he "never touched" the victim.

A number of photographs of the injuries were handed into District Judge Paul Copeland.

Supporting prosecution objections to bail, the police officer said Rainey had a significant record, including serious assaults, and there was a considerable domestic violence history with several partners.

There were also instances of harassment, silent phone calls and attacks on victims.

The officer told the court: "Having spoken to the victim, she is in some ways happy she only sustained a broken leg."

Under cross-examination and in respect to an enquiry by defence counsel Patrick Taggart, the officer stated there were no issues of mental health noted with the victim, who had given her statement to police without difficulty.

He confirmed there were no medical reports as yet.

Mr Taggart argued these should be made available by way of evidence.

But Judge Copeland held up a photograph of the victim's leg in a plaster cast and remarked: "Well, this is fairly convincing."

Mr Taggart accepted what the photograph showed but contended the injury could have been caused by the victim perhaps falling down the stairs while intoxicated.

Throwing out the application, Judge Copeland remanded Rainey in custody to appear again by video-link next month.

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