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Baby 'dropped to ground' during attack on Co Tyrone mum, court told

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The defendant was denied bail (stock photo)

The defendant was denied bail (stock photo)

The defendant was denied bail (stock photo)

A baby was dropped to the ground during an alleged attempt to choke her mother, the High Court has been told.

Prosecutors claimed the seven-month-old girl's head hit the ground in the attack at a house in Co Tyrone last Sunday.

Patrick Sherry, a man said to be trained in mixed martial arts, is accused of launching a drunken assault on his partner while she was holding their young daughter.

The 28-year-old defendant, of Tully Manor in Aughnacloy, faces charges of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, attempted choking with intent, cruelty to a child and threats to kill.

Sherry became violent after returning home drunk as the woman was changing the baby's nappy, it was claimed.

A Crown lawyer alleged that he started to punch his partner amid a row about asking her to go to the pub.

At one point he put her against a hall door, placed his hands round her neck and said he was going to kill her, according to the prosecution.

The woman claimed she couldn't breath, and that their daughter then fell from her arms and hit her head on the ground.

Police called to the home found smashed and overturned furniture and items, including a child's pram and bouncer.

Injuries to the woman included a swollen forehead and bruising to both sides of her neck.

A large clump of dark hair was discovered on the hallway floor.

Sherry was arrested the following day, telling police during interviews that he drunk up to 15 bottles of beer before the alleged attack.

He denied threatening to kill his partner or having any contact with their baby, claiming she was in a car seat throughout the entire incident.

According to his account he grabbed and held the woman by the throat for 10-15 seconds after she threw a vase at him.

Prosecution counsel submitted: "He said he was trained in mixed martial arts and that if he did a choke hold the instructions were to use arms because it was too dangerous to use hands, although he appeared to use his hands on this occasion."

A defence barrister questioned the admissibility of anything Sherry said in police interviews, highlighting the amount of alcohol taken.

Refusing bail, however, Mr Justice Colton cited the risk of re-offending or interference with the complainant.

The judge said: "Attempted choking is always very sinister in the context of domestic violence."

Belfast Telegraph