Attack ‘arose from cocaine argument’

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A man allegedly attacked his partner during a row over cocaine use, the High Court heard on Thursday.

Marc Bruce is accused of kicking and punching the woman after they had been to a party earlier this month.

The 27-year-old, of Mill Street in Newtownards, denies a charge of grievous bodily harm, claiming she self-harmed by head-butting a wall.

Details emerged as he was granted bail but banned from any contact with the alleged victim.

He was arrested after police were called to the woman’s home early on December 4.

It was alleged that Bruce had come home drunk, woke the woman up and got her to go to a party.

A row between the couple over his alleged cocaine use turned violent after they returned to the property, according to Mrs McKay.

He head-butted the woman, threw her over a table and punched her as she tried to fight back, she alleged.

Bruce denied any assault, telling police: “She was head-butting the wall.”

He also said the woman hit her head off her mother’s car a few days earlier.

Defence counsel Richard McConkey argued that independent evidence backs his client’s description of the woman’s behaviour.

Acknowledging the point based on a police report of a previous incident, Mr Justice Colton said both the accused and alleged victim appear to have significant alcohol problems.

Granting bail for Bruce to live under curfew at an address in Millisle, the judge also barred him from entering Newtownards.