Belfast Telegraph

Man accused of knocking out partner's front teeth in attack is refused bail

A District Judge said yesterday that one of the saddest aspects of domestic violence was that so many victims simply could not stay away from their abusers
A District Judge said yesterday that one of the saddest aspects of domestic violence was that so many victims simply could not stay away from their abusers

By George Jackson

A District Judge said yesterday that one of the saddest aspects of domestic violence was that so many victims simply could not stay away from their abusers.

Michael Ranaghan made the comment at a special sitting of the magistrates court in Londonderry.

Before the court was 34-year-old Michael John White from Clarendon Street.

He was arrested last Friday and charged with breaching his court bail conditions and with assaulting his girlfriend. He was also charged with conspiring with others to intimidate his girlfriend, who is a prosecution witness in another case against him, and he was further charged with witness intimidation.

The defendant denies the charges but admits breaching his court-imposed bail conditions.

A police constable told the court that he strongly objected to the defendant being released on bail.

He said on May 13 of this year, the defendant was remanded in custody charged with an assault on the same victim, during which he allegedly knocked out several of her front teeth.

The defendant was granted High Court bail last Friday on that charge, which he denies, on condition that he stayed away from the woman's home and did not contact her.

The police officer said 90 minutes after he was granted conditional bail, the defendant contacted the woman.

He said last Friday she made a 999 call to the police and when officers went to the defendant's Clarendon Street flat, they found both the defendant and the woman inside.

She alleged the defendant had assaulted her by punching her on the face, an allegation which the defendant denies.

The police witness then handed to the District Judge a copy of the defendant's criminal record which contained 77 previous criminal convictions.

Applying for bail, a defence solicitor said there had been a reconciliation between the defendant and his girlfriend.

He said the girlfriend had contacted the defendant after she had been informed by the police last Friday that he'd been granted bail at the High Court in Belfast.

Bail was refused and the defendant was remanded in custody until August 1.

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