Belfast Telegraph

Woman broke wrist fleeing from partner Stephen Harbinson, court hears

By Alan Erwin

A Northern Ireland woman allegedly broke her wrist jumping from a first floor window to escape her partner, the High Court heard today.

She claimed to have leapt out of her flat in Antrim after being pushed into a cupboard by 47-year-old Stephen Harbinson.

Harbinson, of Bleerick Drive in the town, currently faces charges of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and common assault over the alleged incident.

But he was granted bail after a judge was told the woman has now withdrawn her complaint.

She had contacted support organisation Women's Aid last August to say she was in hospital with a broken arm, the court heard.

Police were alerted and confirmed that a fractured wrist was sustained.

Prosecution counsel said the woman then provided a statement claiming a domestic assault took place at her Hawthornden home.

"She alleged that she was pushed into a cupboard and then jumped from a first floor window of her flat to get away from her partner, this applicant," the barrister said.

The woman ran to a neighbour's house before returning home and phoning for an ambulance, it was claimed.

Following his arrest Harbinson alleged that she had instead assaulted him.

He also claimed the woman climbed out onto the window ledge and threatened to leap before actually jumping, Madam Justice McBride was told.

The accused was previously granted bail, but then returned to custody for allegedly breaching conditions by phoning his partner.

The prosecutor confirmed that she formally withdrew her assault allegations earlier this week.

A decision has still to be taken on whether to proceed with the prosecution without her evidence.

Granting bail again, the judge acknowledged the change of circumstances.

She banned Harbinson from going near the woman's home or making any attempt to contact her.

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