Belfast Telegraph

Woman undergoes reconstructive surgery after nephew stamps on head, court told

By Alan Erwin

A woman had to undergo facial reconstruction surgery after a nephew allegedly stamped on her head repeatedly, the High Court heard.

Prosecutors claimed she also lost four teeth due to an attack at her west Belfast home that left her unconscious.

Christopher Reid is charged with intentionally inflicting grievous bodily harm on his aunt following a chance encounter last month.

The 24-year-old defendant, of Derryveagh Close in the city, faces further counts of common assault on her daughter, criminal damage to a flower pot, and assault on police.

Refusing his application for bail on Thursday, a judge described the alleged offences as "disgraceful".

Crown lawyer David McClean said police called to his aunt's Glen Road address on May 27 discovered her badly cut and bleeding profusely from the mouth.

Reid was located at another property, where he allegedly tried to head-butt an arresting officer.

The court heard his aunt had invited him back to her home when they met on the street for the first time in three years.

He then allegedly launched the attack after drinking alcohol at the house.

His cousin told police she saw him kick her mother to the head with the sole of his feet in a stamping motion at least four or five times, according to the prosecution.

Reid is accused of punching both of them during the incident, and throwing a plant pot at the property after exiting.

"Her mother was knocked unconscious as a result of the assault," Mr McClean said.

He produced photographs of the woman's injuries, said to include a fractured cheekbone, smashed upper mouth palate and severe facial lacerations that required up to 18 stitches.

The prosecutor continued: "There was also the loss of teeth - four had to be surgically removed - and facial reconstruction."

Declan Quinn, defending, confirmed Reid denies the charges.

Pointing to his client's history of mental health problems, the barrister contended: "There had been no contact between the defendant and his aunt for three years (before) the chance meeting on the street.

"He was invited back to her house, both consuming alcohol, and she suggested to police that he behaved erratically."

Mr Quinn claimed Reid had been "led up the garden path" following his initial release on police bail.

But Mr Justice Deeny denied the application based on the risk of re-offending.

He said: "The public are entitled to be protected."

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