Man accused of kicking pregnant woman attacked by masked gang

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A Portstewart man accused of attacking a woman and kicking her stomach while she was carrying an unborn child, was attacked himself in the early hours of Monday morning by four masked men armed with batons.

Gary Woods, originally from Mullaghacall Crescent in the seaside town, was to have appeared before North Antrim Magistrates’ Court, sitting in Coleraine, on Monday to fix a date for a preliminary inquiry into the case.

However, defence lawyer Francis Rafferty told District Judge Liam McNally that 25-year-old Woods was unable to attend court as he was “the victim of a serious assault”.

Mr Rafferty said Woods was “suffering from a broken arm and is on his way to hospital”.

Mr McNally adjourned the hearing.

Police later confirmed that shortly after 1am on Monday morning, police in Coleraine were informed about an attack on a man in the town, by a number of masked men. A spokesperson added that his injuries were not thought to be life threatening.

Woods, who was released on bail in April, is charged with attempted child destruction, and falsely imprisoning and causing grievous bodily harm to the child’s mother on January 31.

At his original remand hearing before the North Antrim court in February, District Judge Austin Kennedy was told that the alleged victim’s stepfather rang police to report that she had been assaulted by Woods.

Mr Kennedy, who described the charges as “appalling”, also heard that police domestic abuse officers had had dealings with Woods over several years involving incidents with three previous partners.

A constable claimed that in the present case, Woods, said to have a “very, very bad record and previous convictions for similar offences”, allegedly kicked the injured party around the stomach.

Although refused bail at the time, two months later Woods was granted his own bail of £750, with two sureties of £500, on condition he observes a 7pm to 7am curfew. Woods was also banned from using a mobile phone, and making any contact with the injured party.

In addition he was to be tagged and not allowed to consume any alcohol.