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Belfast woman accused of hitting child with glass refused bail

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Elizabeth Sterrett

Elizabeth Sterrett

Elizabeth Sterrett

A Belfast woman who is charged with hitting a 14-month-old girl with a glass thrown from a balcony has been refused bail.

Elizabeth Sterrett also allegedly spat at the child's mother from the balcony but the prosecution claim her spit also hit the little girl.

Refusing to grant bail to 23-year-old Sterrett at Craigavon Magistrates Court on Wednesday, District Judge Nigel Broderick said she "faces a quite serious alleged assault on a young child."

He also said it appeared she had "issues with abuse of substances" and said "there is a fear of further offences". He said a proposed bail address for Sterrett was not suitable after hearing the woman she proposed to move in with had herself been questioned about an alleged GBH.

When the case was initially opened by the prosecution the previous week, a lawyer said the charges arose from an incident involving an infant last September.

Sterrett, who appeared at court via videolink from custody but who has an address at Black Mountain Walk in Belfast, is accused of a common assault on the child and possessing a weapon, namely a glass, with intent to cause actual bodily harm. She also faces two counts of assaulting police.

The lawyer told the court a woman was helping a distressed female at an apartment block when Sterrett "from two floors above started to verbally abuse her from the balcony." "She spat at the reporting party but it hit her 14-month-old daughter," claimed the lawyer.

He added it was the prosecution case that "the defendant then threw a glass from the balcony that struck the child causing a bruise to her foot".

When police attended, Sterrett allegedly struggled with the officers, kicking one in the chest and spitting on another. Arrested and interviewed she denied the offences.

In court on Wednesday, defence counsel Robert McTernaghan revealed that due to allegations Sterrett had spat on the little girl being reported in the press, "the defendant's mother has been subject to online abuse and the defendant has been left distressed."

He said: "The Crown on the previous occasion stated that my client spat on the child - myself and my instructing solicitor went through the papers and believe this is incorrect.

"This was reported widely in the Sunday papers, as a result the defendant's mother has been subject to online abuse and the defendant has been left distressed, I would ask that this is amended."

The prosecutor replied it could not be amended at this time and confirmed that their papers allege that Sterrett's spittle did hit the child. The bail application was adjourned from Friday as the judge said he wanted more information about the person Sterrett proposed to live with and during the week he heard how the woman, who herself was recently released from custody. The PPS told the court she had been interviewed for an alleged GBH with intent and driving offences but had been freed pending further inquiries with the submission that "police do not believe the address is appropriate (for Sterrett)."

Mr Broderick said he was refusing to free Sterrett but that she could appeal to the High Court.

Belfast Telegraph