Belfast Telegraph

Man who hit woman in front of their disabled son is remanded

By George Jackson

A man who admitted punching and kicking the mother of their five-year-old son in front of their child - who has Down's Syndrome - has been remanded in custody.

David Doherty admitted assaulting his victim in the living room of their home at Clara Court in the Strathfoyle area of Londonderry on May 3.

The 30-year-old appeared at the city's Magistrates' Court yesterday.

A solicitor for the Public Prosecution Service told District Judge Barney McElholm that the victim went to the PSNI at Strand Road Police Station on May 4 to report that the defendant had assaulted her the previous morning.

Both had been out drinking with friends in a bar in Eglinton village the previous evening and had had an argument.

The defendant went home and the victim went to her parent's home where her son was and she stayed overnight there.

The following morning she returned home with her son and again had an argument with the defendant.

He admitted hitting her on the face with her handbag and punching her on the chin as well as kicking her.

"This was all done in front of their five year-old son who has Down's Syndrome," the prosecutor said.

Photographs of the injuries sustained by the victim were shown to the District Judge.

The prosecutor said the defendant initially denied the allegations when he was arrested and interviewed by the police.

A police witness said the victim had been placed on the domestic violence high risk register following a previous incident in February of last year after which the woman was hospitalised.

She said she believed that if the defendant was released on bail, he would likely attempt to contact the victim.

Applying for bail, a defence solicitor said the defendant now admitted the assault charge.

The solicitor said a bail address was available to the defendant just over two miles from the victim's home.

However, Mr McElholm said the proposed bail address was not acceptable because of the proximity to the complaint's home.

"It's just a short walk as far as I am concerned," he said.

The District Judge said in all domestic violence cases where there were admissions he always ordered a pre-sentence report before sentencing the perpetrator.

The bail application was then adjourned and the defendant was remanded in custody until Friday.

Belfast Telegraph

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