Man accused of assaulting and threatening to kill ex-partner denied bail

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A man accused of breaking his ex-partner’s jaw and cheekbone allegedly told a female accomplice to hold her face so he could see what he was kicking, the High Court heard today.

Prosecutors claimed Scott McHugh and the other woman forced their way into a house in Lisburn before subjecting the victim to a “vicious” assault where her head was also struck against a toilet bowel.

McHugh, 30, of Chapel Hill Mews in the city, is then alleged to have phoned the complainant two days later and told her she would be murdered.

He denies charges of causing grievous bodily harm with intent, threats to kill, witness intimidation and improper use of a telecommunication network in connection with the two incidents last December.

His application for bail was adjourned amid concerns about progressing the case.

A judge was told the injured woman claims McHugh and another female broke into the property while she was there with a male friend.

She alleged they then launched a joint attack while her friend was in another room.

A knife was produced before the woman kicked, punched and head-butted her under McHugh’s instructions, it was claimed.

Crown lawyer Kate McKay continued: “At some point in the bathroom she said she had her head hit off the toilet bowel.

“She also said the woman held her face as this applicant kicked her face as he wanted to see what he was hitting.”

McHugh allegedly inflicted blows to her head and torso during an assault which lasted for 15 minutes, the court heard.

The woman claimed as the attack ended she was told that if she returned to Lisburn a bomb would be placed under her father’s car.

According to the prosecution, she sustained fractures to her cheekbone and jaw, as well as facial bruising and swelling.

“She was unable to eat solid food for six weeks,” Mrs McKay added.

The court heard McHugh then allegedly tried to intimidate the woman in a phone call after being released on police bail.

It was claimed that he said “You went to the f****** police didn’t you”, calling her a “rat, police informant and a junkie”.

McHugh also allegedly told her he would spread it about that “the next person to get you will f****** murder you”.

The call was said to have been heard by the woman’s parents through a speaker phone.

During interviews McHugh denied the allegations, claiming he didn’t have a phone after dropping it in a puddle in the snow.

Defence counsel Stephen Toal also argued there were underlying issues of credibility in the prosecution case.

“There’s an allegation that another female inflicted a lot of these injuries,” he said.

“This applicant (McHugh) maintains the position that he wasn’t present when that happened.”

Following submissions, Mr Justice Horner said bail should not be granted at this stage.

Instead, he adjourned the case for four weeks for a full update on the investigation.