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Thug left partner's face so badly swollen it's not known yet if she has broken bones, court is told

By George Jackson

Published 30/06/2015

Law theme, mallet of judge, wooden gavel
Law theme, mallet of judge, wooden gavel

A "violent, dangerous thug" has been refused bail after he was charged with assaulting his partner so badly her face was swollen to the extent that doctors cannot tell yet if she has any broken bones.

John Kenneth McNicholl was said to have punched, kicked and stamped on the woman's head - part of a "violent domestic history" that started when the woman was 16.

He was so aggressive when police arrived at the scene and found his partner with head injuries that officers had to handcuff him, spray him with CS spray and strike him with a baton, the court was told.

A PSNI officer told Derry Magistrates Court the defendant had 52 previous criminal convictions, including for assaulting his mother and father, as well as the complainant.

District Judge Barney McElholm remanded McNicholl (26) from Gorteen Crescent, Limavady, in custody, saying he could conceive of no bail conditions which he could impose on the defendant to protect members of the public from him.

The defendant denies assaulting his partner and stealing her bank card.

A police officer told the court that on Thursday evening last the police in Limavady received a phone call from the complainant stating she had been assaulted by the defendant.

The police went to the address where they found blood and items strewn on the kitchen floor.

The complainant, who had head injuries, told the officers that the defendant had left the house after the alleged assault. As the officers were in the process of calling an ambulance for the complainant, the defendant return to the house.

There his behaviour was so aggressive that the police had to handcuff him, use CS spray and hit him with a baton.

The police witness said the complainant later received 15 staples in hospital for her injuries.

"Her face was so badly swollen that the doctors are unable to say as yet if there were any bone fractures," the court heard.

"She had two black eyes, facial swelling, a cut to her left eyebrow and to her bottom lip, bruising to the left upper arm and to the right side of the chest.

"In her statement to the police the complainant said the defendant had punched her several times to the face and pushed her to the ground where he kicked and stamped her on the head between three and four times", the officer said.

"There has been a violent domestic history between the complainant, starting when she was 16, and the defendant. They had been in a 10-year relationship which ended because of the defendant's violent nature, however the complainant rekindled the relationship following the death of her husband," she added.

She said a bail address for the defendant in Limavady was not acceptable to the police. The complainant was now afraid of returning to live in Limavady and had been given accommodation by Women's Aid, the officer added.

Applying for bail, a defence solicitor said the complainant had kicked the defendant in the face after he'd been handcuffed and arrested.

"There has been a two-way domestic history in this unfortunate relationship which at times has been volatile and violent," he added.

However, after he'd viewed colour photographs of the injuries sustained by the complainant last Thursday, Mr McElholm described the defendant as "clearly a dangerous and violent individual".

"I cannot conceive of a single condition that I could place on this man that would protect the public from harm and I cannot conceive of him getting bail anywhere", he said.

The defendant was remanded in custody for a video-link hearing on July 23.

Belfast Telegraph

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