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MMA fighter who allegedly fired crossbow at ex-girlfriend fails in latest bid to be released from custody

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Tufts was refused bail on Thursday but the judge warned the prosecution against potential delays in the case.

Tufts was refused bail on Thursday but the judge warned the prosecution against potential delays in the case.

Tufts was refused bail on Thursday but the judge warned the prosecution against potential delays in the case.

A mixed martial artist who allegedly fired a crossbow at his ex-girlfriend has failed in a new bid to be released from custody.

Samuel Tufts, 30, is also accused of using a dangerous choke hold to render the woman unconscious as she tried to leave his home in Belfast.

A judge refused his latest application for bail due to the risk of any further offences.

Tufts, of Cultra Street in the city, faces charges of attempted grievous bodily harm with intent, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, threats to kill and possessing an offensive weapon.

He was arrested following an incident on September 6 last year.

A previous court heard Tufts became angry when his former partner announced she intended to move out of the house.

He punched her in the ribs before picking up a crossbow, according to the prosecution.

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It was alleged that he aimed a shot at the woman through a closed door, putting a hole in it and narrowly missing her.

A Crown lawyer claimed Tufts then kicked her and issued threats before getting her on the ground in a rear neck choke manoeuvre utilised under strict control in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA).

The woman stated that she was unconscious for a period, but managed to escape and alert police who then stopped the defendant in a car on the Antrim Road.

Tufts, described as a trained MMA practitioner verging on professional standard, denies the allegations against him.

At Belfast Magistrates’ Court on Thursday it was disclosed that he no longer faces a charge of attempted murder.

Defence barrister Rachael McCormick argued that Tufts has mental health issues and should be released from custody due to the change of circumstances.

She set out that her client and the alleged victim had been platonic friends after splitting as a couple.

Denying bail, however, District Judge Anne Marshall ruled: “I don’t think he’s an appropriate candidate.”

Ms Marshall also warned the prosecution against potential delays in Tufts’ case.

“The stage will be reached soon where we can’t keep (him) in custody any longer.” 
 


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