Belfast Telegraph

OAP beaten by her partner Fedor Harvey Stewart (86) not co-operating with police, court told

Fedor Harvey Stewart leaves court after an earlier hearing
Fedor Harvey Stewart leaves court after an earlier hearing

By Paul Higgins

An 84-year-old cancer patient beaten in a prolonged attack by her partner may not be co-operating with the police investigation, a court has heard.

Defence solicitor Dermot Bowes told Newtownards Magistrates' Court "there's been no movement" in the case against 86-year-old Fedor Harvey Stewart, who previously admitted attacking the woman.

"We have concerns about the delay," he told the court, adding: "It may be that the injured party is not co-operating."

Stewart, formerly from the Old Belfast Road in Bangor but bailed to live at Church Lane in Donaghadee, faces charges of inflicting actual bodily harm and attempting to choke, suffocate or strangle the victim on March 26 this year.

When the defendant was initially charged, the court heard claims that he subjected his partner to a two-hour beating after she asked to hold his hand.

During the contested bail application, a prosecuting lawyer told the court how Stewart went to his GP, telling the doctor how he had "continually punched the woman in an attack that lasted over two hours".

The PSNI was alerted and when officers went to the complainant's home they found that she had suffered "significant injuries, including severe bruising to her face".

"He (the defendant) disclosed on Tuesday that she had asked to hold his hand, which he responded to by repeatedly punching her in the face," said the lawyer.

"While in the police car he said to officers, 'I agree with you, I did it. Look at my fists - they are damaged. It was me, I did it. If she had not annoyed me, I wouldn't have had to discolour her face.'"

Opposing Stewart being freed last month, a PSNI officer told the court that officers were very concerned about the injured party because she is vulnerable" and there are fears "this is not the first time this may have happened".

The officer revealed that Stewart had "shown very little remorse" and that the police "have very serious concerns that this behaviour has been going on for years, although this is the first report of it".

In court yesterday a prosecuting lawyer conceded that the police file had been due to be lodged by May 10 but it had not been received.

"There's an issue in relation to medical evidence," she told the court, asking for the case to be adjourned for four weeks.

Instead, Deputy District Judge Steven Keown relisted the case for next Thursday "for the file to be submitted or the investigating officer to attend for an explanation of the file hasn't been submitted".

Mr Bowes added that he will also be applying for a bail variation in relation to Stewart's address on May 30.

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