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Belfast man allegedly attacked girlfriend and threatened to ‘murder’ her friend, court told

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The accused was granted bail but is barred from contacting witnesses and the alleged victim.

The accused was granted bail but is barred from contacting witnesses and the alleged victim.

The accused was granted bail but is barred from contacting witnesses and the alleged victim.

A Belfast man allegedly attacked his girlfriend with an iron bar and threatened to "murder" one of her friends, a court heard today.

James Madden, 37, is also accused of punching and kicking the woman as part of violent assaults where she was barred from leaving home.

During one incident he warned that members of her family would be burned out if she informed police, it was claimed.

Madden, from the city's Antrim Road, appeared at Belfast Magistrates' Court charged with two counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, false imprisonment and threats to kill.

A detective said police first discovered the woman with two black eyes on December 9 last year.

She alleged Madden had kicked, punched and pulled her by the hair, but refused to make a statement of complaint.

However, officers later received a phone recording of her telling a friend about the alleged attack.

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Another friend then informed police that the woman had also confided in her about a second suspected assault by Madden on New Year's Day.

"She said he attacked her with an iron bar, causing black eyes, bump on the head and bruising to the body," the detective claimed.

"She wasn't allowed to leave the property, and her friend stated that she is terrified of speaking to police.

"He (Madden) has threatened to burn out her mother and son if she does."

It was alleged that he directed a further threat at one of her friends while they were in conversation on December 30.

"She stated that the defendant shouted down the phone 'You will be murdered'," the detective said.

Opposing bail, she disclosed that 14 incidents have been reported in the last three months - either by the woman's relatives, friends or social workers.

"Police do not believe she can protect herself," she added.

Defence barrister Kelly Doherty argued that the complainant has provided alternative accounts, raising questions about her credibility.

"There are significant, triable issues," counsel insisted.

Madden was granted bail on strict conditions, including a ban on contacting the woman or any prosecution witnesses.

Adjourning the case for four weeks, Judge Laura Levers told him: "I'm prepared to give you an opportunity."


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