Belfast Telegraph

Teen tried to strangle pregnant girlfriend, court told

By George Jackson

A man alleged to have tried to strangle his pregnant teenage girlfriend held her neck, counted to 20 and told her: “If I do this to 30 you will be dead”, a court has heard.

A police officer told District Judge Barney McElholm at the Magistrates Court in Londonderry that Jonathan McCusker (19), from Clonmeen Drive in Strathfoyle, is also alleged to have kicked and punched his girlfriend — who was four weeks’ pregnant — in the |stomach.

The defendant appeared for a video-link bail application from Hydebank Prison.

He is currently in custody charged with offences linked to an attack on a middle-aged couple at Greenhaw Avenue last June.

In that attack a man sustained three broken ribs.

His wife, who came to his rescue, was also kicked and punched to the ground.

The officer said that during the alleged smothering and choking of his then 17-year-old girlfriend on September 15, the defendant is alleged to have pressed a pillow against her face and also squeezed her neck with his hands.

The police witness said that the pregnant teenager heard the defendant counting to 20.

He is alleged to have told her: “If I do this to 30 you will be dead.”

Bail was refused and the defendant, who has 32 previous convictions, was remanded in continuing custody until November 1.

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