Bail denied to teen 'who hit partner in front of their baby'
A teenager sexually assaulted, punched and threatened his partner in the presence of their newborn baby, a court heard yesterday.
During an unsuccessful bail application at Dungannon Magistrates Court, it was alleged that on November 2 the defendant, who cannot be named to protect the identity of his alleged victim, struck her in the face and punched her arm while in her home with the child.
Despite her distress, the defendant pushed her on to a sofa, took off her clothes and exposed himself.
He placed his fingers in her mouth, causing her to choke, and slapped her about the face.
Around this time a health visitor rang to say that she would be calling round later, but the terrified victim hung up without speaking.
This led to the health visitor going immediately to the scene and police being called.
The alleged victim also disclosed that her partner had stolen her bank card and taken money from her account.
The teenager was charged on November 6 and released on bail to appear in court the following month.
Despite knowing he was to have no contact with either his partner or the baby as part of his bail and a restraining order, the defendant breached this on December 4 when he appeared at the back of her home.
Two days later a bench warrant was issued after he failed to appear on the abuse charges.
Opposing bail yesterday, a police officer told the court: "If released, there is a strong likelihood of reoffending and interference with witnesses."
He said that the defendant knew he was not to contact his partner, yet did so in spite of the restraining order.
"There is a domestic history with the same victim since 2016 with convictions for false imprisonment and assaults," the officer said.
"His behaviour is volatile, aggressive and persistent and he shows blatant disregard for court orders or bail.
"He knowingly evaded police while they were attempting to find him."
Describing the victim as at high risk of domestic violence, the officer pointed out the very young baby was present throughout the incidents.
District Judge John Meehan rejected the application, saying that there was a long track record of domestic violence and he had concerns about the defendant's maturity and "given his compulsive, abusive, high violence behaviour".
The judge added: "I believe he used his physical resource to assert a controlling attitude toward this victim."
The case is due to be back in court again next month.