Belfast Telegraph

Judge bails Ards domestic violence accused 'through gritted teeth'

By Paul Higgins

A man who allegedly attacked his former partner with glass in front of their daughter has been granted bail through a judge's "gritted teeth".

Freeing 36-year-old Paul Henderson at Newtownards Magistrates' Court, District Judge Mark Hamill said that because there had been "repeated withdrawals" of other allegations of domestic violence, he was "pretty well forced, through gritted teeth, to grant you bail".

He warned Henderson to have no contact with his alleged victim, adding: "If she sends you a gold embossed invitation and you go there, your bail will end. Understand that."

Henderson, from Edenvale Crescent in Ards, stood handcuffed in the dock, charged with attempting to inflict grievous bodily harm (GBH) with intent and possessing a glass with intent to commit GBH on July 17.

A detective sergeant told the court she believed she could connect the defendant to the alleged offences, and the police objected to his release amid fears of witness interference and further offences being committed.

The policewoman testified it was the force's case that Henderson was let into the complainant's home by his eight-year-old daughter in the early hours, after which he went upstairs and launched the "unprovoked attack" in front of the child.

According to the alleged victim's statement, Henderson struck her in the face and then on the back of the head with the glass before then leaving the property.

Officers who were called to the house "found broken glass with either blood or hair on it".

Under cross-examination from defence solicitor Leo Morrison, the officer agreed there had been a 12-year relationship between the pair and that, despite the numerous complaints, Henderson had never been charged with any other offence.

He submitted it was the defence case that the alleged victim "took umbrage" with Henderson forming a new relationship, telling the court the defendant denied involvement in any assault.

Freeing Henderson on his own bail of £500 with a surety of £500, Judge Hamill barred the defendant from entering Ards, from contacting his alleged victim and ordered him to keep a curfew from 9pm to 7am.

Belfast Telegraph


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