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Belfast man John McKinley held girlfriend's head under water during attack, court told

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Belfast Magistrates' Court

Belfast Magistrates' Court

PA Archive/PA Images

Belfast Magistrates' Court

A Belfast man allegedly held his girlfriend's head under water as part of an assault in her home, a court has heard.

John McKinley, 30, is accused of attacking the woman at the property earlier this month.

McKinley, of Queen Victoria Gardens, was refused bail at Belfast Magistrates' Court on May 20, on charges of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and breaching a restraining order.

The court heard the woman's teenage son made a 999 call from their home on May 6.

Officers who went to the property in the east of the city found her with swollen eyes, a judge was told.

A PSNI constable said: "She gave an account that (McKinley) had put her head under water in the bath and held it there.

"She recalled waking up on the bathroom floor and feeling pain in her cheek."

McKinley was arrested and charged after handing himself in to police on a later date.

It was confirmed that the woman has now made a statement withdrawing her initial complaint.

But the constable said police intend to obtain her son's 999 call as potential evidence in the case.

Defence solicitor Brendan Blaney argued that his client could be released on conditions to ensure no contact with the alleged victim.

However, District Judge Mark Hamill ordered him to be remanded in custody.

"Not only am I refusing bail because of the risk of further offences, but I'm refusing jurisdiction.

"I will not tolerate the PPS (Public Prosecution Service) prosecuting this case in the Magistrates' Court; it's to go to the Crown Court."

Belfast Telegraph