Woman ran 'in fear for her life' in Randalstown

Woman ran 'in fear for her life' in Randalstown

A WOMAN feared she was going to be killed and ran to a family member's home in Randalstown "in fear for her life,"  a court was told.

Details surrounding alleged incidents on December 30 last year were heard at Antrim Magistrates Court, sitting in Ballymena.

Tony McNally (23), with an address listed as Main Street in Randalstown, appeared via video link from custody where he had been on remand for a month in connection with the charges.

He is accused of assaulting a woman occasioning actual bodily harm; attempting to 'choke, suffocate or strangle' her; threatening to kill her; and threatening to damage her property.

During a bail application, a defence barrister said he understood the complainant has made a statement of withdrawal.

The court heard bail had previously been refused on New Year's Day.

During a second bail application at court, on February 1, a police officer opposed bail.

The detective constable said the witness said she had withdrawn her complaint "because she fears reprisals" from people including the defendant and was "too afraid" to come to court.

She said a suggested bail address was "wholly inappropriate" as it was close to the woman's address.

The officer said that at 9.45pm on December 30 last year police attended Main Street in Randalstown in response to a report from a member of the public that he saw a male assaulting a female.

The alleged injured party then told police she had been at a gathering with McNally at his family's address and whilst making their way home he "lost his temper" and began to "shout and rant".

The woman told police she was knocked to the ground; had been "knocked unconscious," before McNally tried to "drag her into his home address by wrapping his arms around her neck. As a result she could not breath.

"He threatened to kill her and burn her whole house down. She has ran to her mother's home address in fear for her life and she truly believed that he would carry out the threats".

The officer said members of the public intervened and helped the woman get away from the area, Court News NI can report.

The detective added: "She feels if that had not happened he would have killed her".

The court heard there was CCTV of the incident; witness statements from members of the public and police body worn footage of the woman's account and "injuries received".

The defence barrister said it was an "unusual case" because the complainant told police she "has immense time and feelings" for the defendant "when he is sober" and added: "There certainly appeared to be an issue as regards when alcohol is consumed".

District Judge Nigel Broderick refused bail saying there was a "risk of further offences" and a bail address in Randalstown was "unsuitable".