Belfast Telegraph

Man accused of breaking ex-partner's jaw granted bail

By Alan Erwin

A man accused of breaking his ex-partner's jaw and telling a female accomplice to hold her face so he could see what he was kicking has been granted High Court bail.

Scott McHugh allegedly forced his way into a house in Lisburn, Co Antrim to launch an assault where the woman's head was also struck against a toilet bowel.

Prosecutors claim the 30-year-old then phoned her two days later to say she would be murdered.

Agreeing to release McHugh from custody due to delays in the case, a judge banned him from contacting either the alleged victim or her parents.

Mr Justice Horner warned any breach of the conditions will result in him being returned to prison until trial.

McHugh, of Chapel Hill Mews in Lisburn, denies charges of causing grievous bodily harm with intent, threats to kill, witness intimidation and improper use of a telecommunication network in connection with two incidents last December.

A previous court heard the injured woman claims McHugh and another female broke into a property and launched a joint attack while her male friend was in another room.

A knife was produced before the co-accused kicked, punched and head-butted her under McHugh's instructions, it was claimed.

At one point she alleged her head was hit off a bathroom toilet bowel.

She told police the other woman held her face as McHugh was kicking it as he wanted to see what he was hitting.

The woman claimed as the attack ended she was warned that if she returned to Lisburn a bomb would be placed under her father's car.

A Crown lawyer said she sustained fractures to her cheekbone and jaw, leaving her unable to eat solid food for six weeks.

The court heard McHugh then allegedly tried to intimidate the woman in a phone call after being released on police bail.

It was claimed that he said "You went to the f****** police didn't you", calling her a "rat, police informant and a junkie".

McHugh also allegedly told her he would spread it about that "the next person to get you will f****** murder you".

The call was said to have been heard by the woman's parents through a speaker phone.

During interviews McHugh denied the allegations, claiming he had no phone after dropping it in a puddle.

Defence lawyers contend there are issues of credibility surrounding the prosecution case.

McHugh insists that he wasn't present when the injuries were inflicted, the court heard.

Bail was granted after prosecution barrister Kate McKay conceded the case faces "substantial delays".

Banning the accused from contacting the alleged victim or her parents, the judge also ordered him to abide by a curfew, tagging and report to police six times a week.

He told McHugh: "If you want to remain at liberty pending your trial make sure you observe these conditions rigorously."

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