Man accused of domestic violence ‘held daughter, two, over banister’

A Co Down man accused of wrecking his ex-partner’s home later donned a bulletproof vest and barricaded himself inside when police arrived at the scene, the High Court heard.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 2nd August 2022, 10:10 pm

The 20-year-old defendant also allegedly held his two-year-old daughter over a banister by her legs as part of a series of suspected episodes of domestic violence.

He is not being named to protect the identity of the little girl.

The man denies multiple charges of common assault and criminal damage, as well as counts of child cruelty, false imprisonment, domestic abuse and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Proceedings relate to incidents at the property in Newtownards on dates between June 1 and July 24.

Prosecutors claimed on one oc casion he “completely trashed” his ex-partner’s house by smashing panels in the front door, pictures, crockery and other furniture.

“He took a sledgehammer and smashed the toilet and sink,” a Crown lawyer alleged.

In a separate incident the defendant is accused of attacking and grabbing the woman by the throat outside a takeaway in the town.

Counsel went on: “She also said she saw him holding the child over the banister on the stairs by the legs.”

When police subsequently went to arrest him at the address the man indicated that he would not be coming out, the court was told.

“He said he had weapons inside the property and put on a bulletproof vest,” the barrister submitted.

“Armed response officers had to attend the property (along with) a police negotiator.”

It took nearly an hour before the man emerged and was taken into custody.

During a bail application defence lawyer Stuart Magee argued that many of the allegations against his client were only made at a later stage.

“They are not subject to any independent evidence and are vigorously denied,” he stressed.

But Mr Justice McFarland voiced concern at the defendant’s alleged actions on being confronted by police.

“This incident could have turned out very badly for (him), never mind for other innocent people,” he said.

Refusing bail, the judge added: “He donned a bulletproof vest and essentially barricaded himself in the house, requiring the assistance of armed officers and a negotiator.

“Clearly this is a man who has difficulties.”