Belfast Telegraph

Mobile phone video of vulnerable woman's hair burnt and shaved kept as trophy image - court hears

By Alan Erwin

Mobile phone footage of a vulnerable woman's hair being burnt and shaved was kept as trophy images, the High Court heard today.

A video recording and still photographs depicted her being abused and beaten while she lay unconscious, prosecutors claimed.

The woman was said to have been left deeply traumatised by the incident, where lettering was also scrawled onto her head.

Details emerged as a man accused of being involved in the attack was refused bail.

Nathan Telford, 22, of Beechwood Avenue, Ahoghill, Co Antrim, is set to face charges of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and two counts of attempted grievous bodily harm with intent over the incident.

He was arrested last year along with a number of others after detectives investigating an unrelated matter seized a mobile phone from a co-accused.

They discovered a video and stills of the victim allegedly being beaten by Telford and the other suspects, a judge was told.

Producing the photographs in court, prosecution barrister Conor Maguire said: "Police believe these to have been what is referred to as trophy images of the abuse that was suffered."

The incident is believed to have occurred at a location in Co Antrim sometime before the end of May last year.

According to Mr Maguire the woman was too frightened to report it at the time.

"When the injured party awoke she discovered that her hair had been cut, burnt and shaven in places," he said.

"There were letters penned onto her head and she had no recollection of the incident having occurred.

"She stated that she didn't immediately contact police as she was shocked, traumatised and very afraid."

It was confirmed that the victim, described as a vulnerable person, was later interviewed by police.

Counsel for Telford argued that he should be released as a female co-accused has already been granted bail.

Richard McConkey said: "When one looks at these photographs there is a shock factor.

"But it must be taken into account that she (the co-accused) is as clearly in these photographs on the Crown case as he (Telford) is."

Mr McConkey further stressed how his client's fiancee is due to give birth to their child.

But refusing bail, Mr Justice Horner held that conditions could not be imposed which would manage the risk of any potential re-offending.

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