A Co Tyrone man has appeared before a special court sitting charged with a campaign of controlling, abusive behaviour against his partner and baby.
The accused, who cannot be identified, is alleged to have regularly squeezed his baby’s neck when it cried.
Appearing by video-link at Dungannon Magistrates Court on Saturday morning, he remained impassive throughout proceedings.
It is alleged that on March 18 he assaulted the baby causing unnecessary suffering, and twice assaulted his partner, in one instance causing actual bodily harm.
A detective constable believed she could connect the defendant to the charges.
She explained police were alerted by Social Services after the partner disclosed she and her one-year-old baby were assaulted by the defendant.
Tensions had arisen when the partner put on make-up, causing the defendant to become “angry and jealous.”
He picked up the baby, who was playing on the floor, causing it to cry, then placed his fingers around its neck, squeezing for around two minutes.
The partner knew the baby was in pain because of its “screeching”.
She tried to stop the defendant, but was repeatedly slapped to the head.
His “aggressive and controlling mood” left the partner petrified.
She managed to escape the next day and Social Services were alerted, who in turn contacted police.
An altercation a few days beforehand was also disclosed, in which the defendant pushed his partner to the floor and struck her back with the baby’s highchair.
This caused bruising to her knees and back.
Mother and baby were medically examined at South West Acute Hospital and injuries confirmed on both were consistent with the accounts given.
The partner also has a broken tooth accused when the defendant “forcibly placed the baby on her knee, causing its head to hit off her mouth.”
The detective said the partner “reports being in an abusive relationship with the defendant for approximately three years. He has been physically abusive to her and the baby. She states he often put his fingers around the baby’s neck and squeezed, describing it as how someone would grab a dog by the scruff of the neck.
"She has been cut off from her friends and family because of his controlling nature. She has never told anybody about the abuse endured and is very, very fearful.
"During her pregnancy she reports he took her phone, money and baby notes. He didn’t let her leave the house and has controlled her throughout their relationship.
"She is extremely frightened of him and what he might do.”
Objecting to bail, the detective pointed to a risk of further offending and potentially absconding. She added the baby is on the Child Protection Register under the category of potential physical abuse by the defendant.
“We also believe he would interfere with the injured party,” the detective added,
During interview the defendant could not understand his partner’s claims and believed their relationship was good.
He denied harming the baby.
A defending lawyer argued bail could be granted with stringent conditions, but this was rejected by District Judge Michael Ranaghan.
Throwing out the application, he said: “These offences are some of the worst this court is faced with, involving alleged offending against a baby and its mother. Primarily I believe there is a risk of witness interference.”
The case was listed for mention before Omagh Magistrates Court next month.