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Man accused of elbowing heavily pregnant woman in stomach in domestic attack in north Belfast


Laganside Court in Belfast (PA)

Laganside Court in Belfast (PA)

Laganside Court in Belfast (PA)

A kitchen porter allegedly elbowed a heavily pregnant woman in the stomach and knocked out her front tooth, a court has heard.

Colin Vance is accused of carrying out the attack in north Belfast on Tuesday as part of an escalating campaign of control over the victim.

The 32-year-old, of Breezemount Close in Conlig, Co Down, appeared at the city’s Magistrates Court charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm and subjecting her to domestic abuse.

A social worker alerted police to claims that Vance had attacked the woman following an argument.

“It resulted in the defendant punching the victim to the face, causing one of her front teeth to break,” a PSNI officer said.

“The victim also alleges that the defendant hit her in the stomach, using his elbow. She is 28 weeks pregnant.”

Deputy District Judge Liam McStay heard claims that the woman is in fear of Vance, adding that he controls and follows her everywhere.

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During police interviews the accused made no comment to all questions put to him.

Opposing bail, the officer contended that the woman is vulnerable and does not appear to fully understand the situation.

“There is an escalation on this occasion with the victim having her tooth knocked out… and police believe she will fail to protect herself,” she added.

Defence barrister Rachael McCormick told the court Vance has significant learning difficulties which mean his father, who attended court, has power of attorney over his affairs.

With no official statement of complaint from the alleged victim, Ms McCormick confirmed the offences are denied and will be contested at any trial.

Counsel also argued that an exclusion zone could be imposed to keep her client away from the injured party’s home in north Belfast.

“He resides in Bangor (where) he’s employed as a kitchen porter and part-time chef,” she added.

Vance was granted bail under strict terms after his father pledged to help ensure that he stays away from Belfast.

Mr McNally told the defendant: “I’m effectively locking you down to the Bangor area.”

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