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New mum blinded in eye after assault by husband, court told


The officer said the victim may soon be discharged (stock picture)

The officer said the victim may soon be discharged (stock picture)

The officer said the victim may soon be discharged (stock picture)

The mother of a four-week-old baby has been left blind in one eye after a brutal attack carried out by her husband, a court has heard.

While taken to hospital by her alleged attacker and his mother, the victim was too scared to tell medical staff what had occurred until both had left, it was said.

In the dock of Dungannon Magistrates Court was Sean McDonagh (21) of The Glen, Coalisland, who is accused of unlawfully and maliciously inflicting grievous bodily harm on his wife, the mother of the new baby and a toddler.

A police officer said the charge could be connected. Opposing bail, she explained that the victim was taken to the Royal Victoria Hospital on Wednesday by McDonagh and his mother.

She had sustained a severe injury to her right eye and needed emergency surgery. The socket was fractured and she is now blind in that eye.

McDonagh and his mother stayed at the hospital for some time, but when they finally left, the woman contacted police.

Officers attended, recording her comments on body-worn cameras. She said fear of her husband was why she waited until he and his mother had left before speaking to medical staff and police, the court heard.

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She describing McDonagh delivering a blow her face during a visit to his mother's home.

Police called with the mother who advised McDonagh would be contacted. He surrendered to police later that day.

The court heard that in an interview he replied "no comment" to all questions, but "became emotional and cried" on being shown footage of his wife's disclosures. The officer said: "Police have concerns of victim interference. She has expressed fears he will attempt to visit her in hospital. There are two very small children in the relationship, one aged two and the baby, four weeks.

"Police are particularly concerned the victim was unable to speak freely to medical staff due to the presence of the defendant and his mother. We are concerned for her safety. She has suffered extremely serious, life-changing injuries."

Under cross-examination the officer confirmed that McDonagh has no previous record, there is no domestic violence history and that he surrendered to police without incident.

Arguing for bail to be granted, the defence said: "My client is a relatively young man with no previous. It is appreciated the offence is serious and the injuries appear to be life-changing."

District Judge John Meehan said: "The relevant forces must gather around this victim as the court is all too familiar with issues securing a statement of complaint. However, I bear in mind there is body-worn footage, so a statement is not just as critical in this instance."

The officer said the victim may soon be discharged.

Bail was set at £500 with a £500 surety. McDonagh is banned from entering within five miles of a specified area of Omagh, and all contact with the children is to be instigated and conducted by Social Services only.

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