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Heavily pregnant woman subjected to 'horrific attack' while holding child, court told

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Bail was refused.

Bail was refused.

PA Archive/PA Images

Bail was refused.

A heavily pregnant woman was allegedly subjected to an "horrific" attack while she held a child in her arms, a court has been told.

Police said she also claimed the accused tried to suffocate her with a pillow at a house in south Belfast at the weekend.

Michael Gibson, 29, of no fixed abode, appeared at the city's Magistrates Court charged with two counts of common assault.

He is also accused of criminal damage to the property.

A PSNI officer said the woman made a 999 call on Saturday, claiming she woke up with Gibson putting a pillow over her face in an attempt to suffocate her.

During a subsequent struggle she was grabbed by the neck and trailed around by her hair, it was alleged.

Describing the incident as a serious episode of suspected domestic violence, the officer disclosed that the woman is heavily pregnant.

"By sheer luck the injured party did not suffer serious injuries, or even a miscarriage," he submitted.

"This assault occurred while holding another, 11-month old child in her arms."

Questioned by defence solicitor Una Conway, he confirmed that no written statement of complaint has been provided.

"This is a case where (Gibson) denies involvement in the offence," Ms Conway added.

Bail was refused, however, due to the risk of interference with the investigation.

Remanding Gibson in custody to appear again next month, District Judge Mark Hamill said: "This is an horrific allegation of serious domestic abuse; he's been woefully under-charged."

Belfast Telegraph