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Woman's spine fractured after she was 'kicked out of first floor window' onto Belfast street

By Alan Erwin

Published 22/09/2015

Scene at Tates Avenue
Scene at Tates Avenue

A woman was allegedly kicked out of a first floor window as she tried to escape a violent attack in Belfast, a court heard today.

She sustained a fractured spine and other broken bones after landing on a footpath outside the house in the south of the city, police said.

Joseph Henry Smyth is accused of inflicting her injuries and also throwing a dog down stairs the same night.

The 31-year-old, of Hillhead Cottages in Belfast, was refused bail amid concerns of any potential re-offending.

Smyth faces charges of causing grievous bodily harm to the woman with intent, criminal damage to her mobile phone, and causing unnecessary suffering to an animal.

He is further accused of assaulting a police constable.

The charges relate to an alleged outburst of violence at an address on Tates Avenue between September 14 to 15.

Belfast Magistrates' Court heard claims that Smyth had attacked the woman in the property for up to an hour.

According to her version of events she then tried to escape out a first floor window.

Opposing bail, a PSNI constable said Smyth allegedly laughed at her as she attempted the exit before kicking her out the window.

After falling to the street she went to a nearby house to seek help, the court heard.

The woman was covered in so much blood that the neighbour thought it was hair dye, the police officer added.

Her injuries include multiple nasal fractures, a broken hand, fracture to her spine and head gash that required staples.

She is expected to be in a spinal brace for at least 12 weeks.

Smyth is alleged to have flung the dog down stairs earlier the same night. The animal is not believed to have suffered serious injuries.

Police called to the scene along with ambulance staff were initially unable to locate the accused.

He was arrested after a sniffer dog sent into the property found him in a hot press area, the court was told.

Smyth denies the charges and provided a statement to police.

His lawyer confirmed he plans to fight the case against him in a bid to prove his innocence.

But denying bail, District Judge George Conner cited the risks of re-offending and interfering with witnesses or the injured party.

Smyth was remanded in custody to appear again by video-link next month.

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