Belfast Telegraph

'Love rat' allegedly attacked teenager mother after text discovery, court told

By Alan Erwin

A man described as a "love rat" allegedly attacked the teenage mother of his new-born baby after she discovered text messages from another woman, a court heard on Friday.

Anthony Kearns, 21, is accused of kicking the 16-year-old girl in the stomach and banging her head off a wall at his Arundel Walk home in Belfast.

Police also claimed she had to go to hospital because stitches from giving birth three days earlier had re-opened.

Kearns denies a charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm over the incident on July 12.

Belfast Magistrates' Court heard the girl arrived at his home, carrying their child in a car seat, and found him asleep upstairs.

She claims she answered Kearns' phone when it rang, saw the messages and began slapping his face to wake him amid suspicions he was being unfaithful.

He allegedly responded by kicking her in the stomach, causing her to fall back against bedroom furniture, and spitting in her face as she lay on the floor.

According to her account he also banged her head off a wall before she grabbed the baby and ran for help.

As a crowd gathered outside the property he threw a hose reel and role of fake grass at the teenage mother, it was claimed.

Kearns is also accused of telling her: "Watch your mother's house tonight."

He faces further charges of disordered behaviour, threats to damage property, and assault on police.

Kearns claims the girl tripped and fell as he tried to push her back after she launched an attack while he slept.

Seeking bail, defence solicitor Paddy Hunt argued she was unhappy at discovering his client was in a new relationship following their break-up.

"This poor girl has gone through childbirth and then came to his house yesterday and made her way up to his bedroom," the lawyer said.

"He was asleep and she woke him up by beating him up."

Mr Hunt stressed no alleged assault occurred while she was carrying their child.

District Judge Harry McKibbin was also told the alleged victim called him names during the incident, putting the phone to his ear while another woman was screaming at the other end of the line.

Mr McKibbin pointed out: "The fact he is what would be described as a love rat is neither here not there in relation to this particular issue at this point in time."

Granting bail to an address approved by police, the judge said he was giving Kearns "the benefit of the doubt" over claims the complaint initiated the incident.

He banned the accused from contacting the girl and ordered him to report to the PSNI daily.

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