Belfast Telegraph

Heroin user punched ex-partner and put pillow over her face, court told

A heroin user with a history of domestic violence was refused bail yesterday amid fears of witness interference
A heroin user with a history of domestic violence was refused bail yesterday amid fears of witness interference

By Ashleigh McDonald

A heroin user with a history of domestic violence was refused bail yesterday amid fears of witness interference.

Dwayne Michael Mullan was arrested earlier this year on suspicion of attacking a former partner in her home.

She claimed she was punched several times and had a pillow put over her face.

Mullan was arrested the following day.

The 32-year-old, from Aldervale in Craigavon, was found to have 12 blue Alprazolam tablets - a class C drug - hidden on his person, Newry Crown Court, sitting in Belfast, was told.

During an unsuccessful application for bail, a barrister for Mullan urged Her Honour Judge McCaffrey to release his client.

The barrister said the defendant had been on remand since his arrest in March and knew that if he was released and tried to contact his ex-partner he would be "swiftly returned to Maghaberry".

The application for bail was refused, with prosecutor Joseph Murphy expressing concerns that Mullan would re-offend and interfere with witnesses.

Mr Murphy said the accused was facing two sets of charges dating back to March - one of which was an allegation of domestic violence.

The prosecutor said that on the evening of March 26, Mullan turned up at his former partner's home unannounced.

It is the Crown's case that when the woman opened her front door, Mullan punched her in the face before making his way to an upstairs bedroom, where he is alleged to have punched her again and put his hands around her neck.

Mullan is also accused of putting a pillow over her face, with Mr Murphy saying that at this point the woman "closed her eyes and thought this was it".

The Crown said the attack continued, more punches were delivered and, despite the woman asking him to leave, Mullan refused and fell asleep on the sofa.

He was arrested the following day and while in police custody was seen squatting on the floor, the court heard. A total of 12 tablets were discovered and, in a pre-prepared statement to police, the defendant admitted possessing the tablets and said he needed them as he was a heroin user.

In a statement, Mullan admitted he was at his ex-partner's home but denied attacking her.

However, Mr Murphy said a text message from Mullan to the woman "appears to be ... a form of confession".

The prosecutor voiced concerns of interference with witnesses and of re-offending.

Pointing out Mullan had 108 convictions, including drugs and domestic violence offences, Mr Murphy also revealed there was a history of breaching non-molestation orders and breaching bail.

He told the court: "Police have concerns that the defendant, if released, would attempt to contact the injured party and persuade her not to proceed with the complaint. She is at high risk of domestic abuse."

Mullan's barrister said that while he accepted his client had a "bad record", the majority of his convictions were for low-level motoring offences.

Judge McCaffrey said: "There is, it appears to me, a risk of re-offending. I am not minded to grant bail on the basis of what I have heard. In light of that, I am going to refuse this application."

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph