Woman bundled into car in underwear by boyfriend feared for her life

An RAF man who bundled his partner into a car in her underwear and who then talked about finding a place to bury a body has been handed a restraining order.

Tuesday, 19th March 2019, 5:32 pm
Updated Tuesday, 19th March 2019, 5:36 pm

Tony Owens, whose address was given as RAF Aldergrove in Crumlin, was told he has to stay away from his ex-partner for the next five years and is banned from posting anything about her on social media, or harassing her.

The restraining order was handed to the 32-year old at Belfast Crown Court, where he was also given a combination order consisting of 80 hours community service and two years probation, for an incident involving the woman in December 2017.

At the time Owens was 31, his girlfriend was 19 and they had been in a relationship for around two months. The incident occurred after she went through his mobile phone and found something that gave her cause for concern.

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She confronted Owens, and he denied any wrongdoing. She returned to his house, and the couple again talked about what she had seen on his phone. Later that evening, Owens took his girlfriend’s phone off her and bundled her into his car when she was wearing only her underwear.

As he pushed her into the car, the woman banged her head off the vehicle’s gearstick – and Owens later admitted a charge of common assault. He then drove around for about an hour, leaving her in a confused state.

At one point during the journey in and around Belfast, Owens stopped at an isolated spot and talked about finding a place to dump a body – a move which the court heard instilled fear in her as she felt she was going to be killed. Her ordeal ended when Owens drove them back to his house.

Owens and the woman continued their relationship for a period, before Owens ended things.

A complaint was made to police in January 2018, but not from the woman herself, and when she was questioned by police, she said believed Owens was going to kill her and dump her body.

Owens admitted both assaulting the woman and threatening to kill her, while a third charge of kidnap was left on the books.

During sentencing, Judge Paul Ramsey QC said he accepted Owens was not a violent person, that the incident in December 2017 was “out of character” and that at the time of the offences, Owen was struggling with his mental health as he was stressed both professionally and personally.