Man held in custody on assault charge

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A Coleraine man, 22, who allegedly invited a 16-year-old girl to his room in a Simon Community hostel in the town “for Buckfast, ‘Blues’ and Lyrica” was remanded in custody on Thursday.

Callan Parsons, whose address was given as the hostel on Coleraine’s Lodge Road, is also accused of harassing the teenager and it is claimed he said he would rape her.

A police officer told Ballymena Magistrates Court the accused then went to the home of the girl’s grandmother, whom he allegedly threatened.

The officer said the 16-year-old said the accused had been attempting to get her mobile phone number and after contacting her granny obtained it and “called her day and night”.

At one stage, the officer alleged, Parsons invited the teenager to his hostel room for “Buckfast, ‘Blues’ and Lyrica”.

The girl told Parsons not to call her but he met her in Coleraine town centre and allegedly said: “I’m going to do silly things to you wee girl, I’m going to rape you”. The teenager ran off.

He then saw her at Coleraine Train station and after grabbing her arm he said she was “not leaving this time,” the police officer said.

The policewoman told the court Parsons allegedly said if the girl went to the PSNI he would smash a bottle over her head and damage her mother’s car.

He later phoned her and said a female friend of his was in Coleraine and she would “get her” and the woman allegedly assaulted the teen.

The police officer added that during another incident at Coleraine Train Station Parsons called the teenager a “slutty b-stard” making her feel humiliated which was the “final straw” and she contacted police.

The officer added that on Monday of this week the girl’s grandmother heard a bang and saw Parsons standing in her home and he allegedly asked: “Where is that dirty slut of a granddaughter? I’m going to rape her.”

The court heard Parsons threatened to put a gas canister in the grandmother’s mouth and threatened her with a screwdriver saying: “I will stick this through you” before adding: “I’m going to burn you out”.

When arrested police took Parsons to the Causeway Hospital because of his level of intoxication but because he shouted obscenities he had to be taken back to the police station, the officer said.

The officer said Parsons committed the alleged offences whilst on bail for “drug offences involving under-age females”.

Defence barrister Andrew Moriarty said his client has a “modest” criminal record “despite the fact that he has had every disadvantage”.

He added: “He has a constellation of problems, learning difficulties, a problem with drugs”.

He claimed there was a “question mark” over the source of the allegations against his client saying they come from a “family not unfamiliar with the criminal justice system”.

Parsons is charged with assaulting the teenager and her grandmother; damaging a window pane and wheelie bin belonging to the gran; harassing the teenager on several dates since October 20; possessing a screwdriver as an offensive weapon; offering to supply Diazepam; threats to damage property and disorderly behaviour at Coleraine Hospital.

Deputy District Judge Peter Magill said he was remanding Parsons in custody until January 16, saying the “catalogue” of offending outlined gave him grave concern and Parsons had committed some of the alleged offences immediately after being admitted to bail at a court on Monday.