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Omagh man accused of beating and starving partner denied bail

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'An officer told Dungannon Magistrates Court the charges could be connected to the defendant. He strenuously opposed a bail application, explaining the woman arrived at Omagh PSNI Station in a highly distressed and emotional state' (stock photo)

'An officer told Dungannon Magistrates Court the charges could be connected to the defendant. He strenuously opposed a bail application, explaining the woman arrived at Omagh PSNI Station in a highly distressed and emotional state' (stock photo)

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'An officer told Dungannon Magistrates Court the charges could be connected to the defendant. He strenuously opposed a bail application, explaining the woman arrived at Omagh PSNI Station in a highly distressed and emotional state' (stock photo)

A Co Tyrone man accused of repeatedly beating his partner, who alleges the defendant later deprived her of food for days, was refused bail by a District Judge yesterday.

Cathal Patrick Feeney (32), of Ashfield Terrace, Omagh, denies causing actual boldly harm to the woman on August 17 and 21.

An officer told Dungannon Magistrates Court the charges could be connected to the defendant. He strenuously opposed a bail application, explaining the woman arrived at Omagh PSNI Station in a highly distressed and emotional state.

While officers tried to calm her down, she collapsed and required medical attention, the court heard.

The hearing was also told the woman said she would have to go into hiding due to fear of repercussions when her partner discovered she had reported him.

After a time she recovered sufficiently to claim she had been beaten by Feeney, causing bruising to her arms, legs, back and chest.

In addition she was punched repeatedly to the head, she said.

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The woman also reported a similar attack several days beforehand in which Feeney allegedly threatened to throw her down the stairs.

Since then he had not allowed her to eat, and she was only getting a maximum of one-and-a-half hours sleep over the last number of weeks, the court heard.

She was petrified of Feeney and continuously voiced fears of repercussions, once he discovered she had made a complaint.

While she was speaking with officers, Feeney was noted outside the police station on several occasions, and once the details of his alleged behaviour were established, he was arrested.

During interview he denied all allegations put to him, claiming any bruising on the victim was caused by her falling several times a few days beforehand.

The officer said: "Police fear there is a strong likelihood of reoffending.

"He knows the complainant and where she lives.

"He may try to interfere with the investigation."

Adding that the complainant described being subjected to "extremely controlling behaviour", the officer continued: "This woman is in fear for her life and may be forced to go into hiding if the defendant is released."

A defence solicitor contended his client could be released back to his home address, pointing out the close proximity to a police station.

"The charges are denied and as yet there is no statement of complaint," said the barrister.

"The case could possibly go nowhere.

"So often after the initial flurry of contact with police, these cases do not proceed."

However, Judge John Meehan refused bail saying: "There are reasonable grounds to suspect this is a depraved, bullying violent individual who feeds off controlling a vulnerable woman.

"That is an extremely dangerous situation, given the high level of violence on the defendant's record."

Feeney was remanded in custody to appear in court again via by video-link on September 18.


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