Belfast Telegraph

Man allegedly threatened to kill mother, High Court hears

A man accused of imprisoning and choking a girlfriend allegedly attacked and threatened to kill his mother when she tried to stop him, the High Court heard on Thursday.

Patrick Johnston, 22, brandished knives before exiting the house in Castledawson to search for his partner, prosecutors claimed.

He faces a total of 24 charges linked to an alleged outburst of violence during a night out on July 28.

Refusing bail, a judge warned: "This is the kind of background where somebody does end up killing someone."

Johnston, of Park View in the Co Derry town, is accused of launching the first attack at a Chinese takeaway.

He then allegedly followed his girlfriend to the memorial park, throwing her to the ground repeatedly.

Prosecution counsel Breige Gilmore claimed Johnston kicked a young woman in the chest when she spotted him carrying his partner away.

Further alleged attacks were carried out when the couple arrived at the home of Johnston's mother.

She was pushed to the ground, punched and kicked when she attempted to intervene, according to the prosecution.

Mrs Gilmore claimed Johnston took two large kitchen knives, headed upstairs, and threatened his mother and father.

The court was told he also allegedly pulled his girlfriend by the hair, ripped off her top and bra, and bit her foot.

She exited and went to an elderly neighbour's house, with the defendant in pursuit, it was contended.

Johnston allegedly instructed that woman to leave her own home before ordering the victim into a smaller bedroom.

"He told her she would have to stay there until Monday," Mrs Gilmore said.

"Several hours later the applicant left and then returned again.

"It's alleged by the girlfriend that he choked her with both hands around her throat for several minutes, rendering her unable to call out or breathe."

Johnston is charged with multiple counts of threats to kill, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, common assault, criminal damage, false imprisonment and attempting to choke with intent to render his girlfriend insensible, unconscious, or incapable of resistance.

Defence barrister Conn O'Neill confirmed his client denies the charges, arguing that he should be released on bail having spent three months in custody.

But denying the application, Sir Richard McLaughlin said: "Prisons are not just for punishment, they are meant to protect people from those who don't behave themselves."

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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