Woman ‘escaped from a domestic attack’

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A Judge said it is a paradox that the “season of goodwill” often sees a spike in the number of domestic violence cases.

Deputy District Judge Peter Magill was speaking at Ballymena Magistrates Court on December 22 where Ioan Loredan Lucaciu (24), of Toome Road, Ballymena, appeared before him accused of assaulting his partner on December 7 and December 8 and also imprisoning her against her will on December 7.

A police officer said the woman alleged the accused pulled her hair and slapped her face and blocked her path before locking the doors and taking away the house keys, mobile phone and bank card.

The officer said the woman also alleged that the next day the man pulled her hair and slapped her again but she was able to escape and wave down a passing car.

Defence barrister Stephen Law said coming up to Christmas tempers sometimes become frayed and maybe at Christmas there is also a “sprinkling” of alcohol as well, but he said it was clear the alleged injured party was unwilling to provide a statement and wanted the accused to spend Christmas with her and their four month old child.

Judge Magill said victims of domestic violence will very often forgive their attackers which perpetuates the problem.

In this alleged case he said it may well be a one-off that will never be repeated and said that “paradoxically the season of goodwill is when incidents of violent offences occur in the domestic situation”.

He described domestic violence cases as being akin to an “iceberg”.

He said he wanted the couple to remain apart until January 5 when the case is back in court but said the family could “have Christmas Dinner together”.

However, the judge warned the accused: “If you abuse the trust and there is any repetition, bail will be refused”.