sundaylife

| 16.3°C Belfast

sundaylife

Plumber accused of domestic violence weeps as he is remanded in custody

Close

Neil Byrne accused of beating and bullying his ex-partner and allegedly threatening her with a gun, wept and wailed in court as a judge sent him to jail.

Neil Byrne accused of beating and bullying his ex-partner and allegedly threatening her with a gun, wept and wailed in court as a judge sent him to jail.

Neil Byrne accused of beating and bullying his ex-partner and allegedly threatening her with a gun, wept and wailed in court as a judge sent him to jail.

A PLUMBER accused of beating, bullying and threatening his ex with a gun wept as he was sent to the cells earlier this week.

Neil Byrne moaned, burst into tears and held his head in his hands after District Judge Nigel Broderick announced he was remanding him in custody.

Lisburn Magistrates Court was told the defendant, of Mill Road in Mullaghbawn, faces 17 charges, including kidnapping, making threats to kill, possessing a firearm with intent to cause fear, possessing a baton and attempted choking on dates between March 24 and May 23.

The 26-year-old was arrested and charged after police received a call about a man dragging a woman into a car in Newry on May 18.

During police interviews, the woman claimed Byrne had:

l Pointed a handgun at her and said, "I will use this if I have to";

l Grabbed her by the hair and throat;

l Poured dishwater over her;

l Followed her around Newry;

l Threatened to burn down her home and her friend's home;

l Stole her phone to send threatening messages to friends;

l Climbed onto the roof of her home and banged the windows.

After he was arrested, the defendant admitted pushing her to the ground and climbing on her roof but denied assaulting, choking, pointing a gun at and threatening her.

Police recovered a quantity of blank ammunition after a search of Byrne's home, and the court was told his gun licence had been revoked a year earlier.

Defence solicitor Ciaran Rafferty said the woman had attacked his client and argued he could be bailed with strict conditions, including not contacting his ex and agreeing to stay out of an exclusion zone.

When Judge Broderick asked why Byrne had been on the woman's roof, Mr Rafferty suggested that rather than being a sinister incident, it was "a rather foolish romantic gesture".

However, a detective constable said police objected to the defendant's release because they wanted to "protect a vulnerable person".

Denying bail, Judge Broderick said: "My concern would be that if released there would be a risk of further offences and a risk that he could interfere with the witness."

The case was adjourned until June 17 and a crying Byrne, who appeared at the hearing via videolink from custody, was led away by a police officer.

Belfast Telegraph