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Christmas Eve bail granted to man accused of punching partner and kicking her dog

The district judge told the defendant during a bail application: 'You with your record and capacity to act in this way are a danger to this woman'

An Armagh man who is accused of punching his partner and kicking her dog after being confronted regarding an alleged affair has appeared in court.

It was heard the 43-year-old is alleged to have kicked the pet with such force that it left the ground.

Keith Leslie Wilkinson, of Mullanasilla Road, appeared charged with common assault and causing unnecessary suffering to animals at the city’s Magistrates’ Court on Christmas Eve.

A constable said he believed he could connect the accused to the charges.

Prosecution confirmed that decision documents had been served in the case and said an application to vary Wilkinson’s bail was opposed.

The application was to allow him to enter Mullanasilla Road where he had formerly resided with the injured party.

Outlining the case, the prosecution stated that the complainant had confronted the defendant regarding an affair she suspected he was having.

The pair had gone to the home of the female in question and whilst driving home the complainant claims to have been punched by Wilkinson.

Whilst back at their home, it is alleged that the defendant then kicked a dog belonging to his partner.

The force was so much the dog was lifted into the air and let out a yelp, the court was told.

During interview, Wilkinson denied kicking the dog but the court heard the alleged incident had been captured on CCTV.

Prosecution stated: “If he returns to this address I feel there is a potential harm not only to the complainant but also the animals that are present.”

Defence barrister Patrick Taggart submitted that the complainant would not be at that address as she was on holiday in Thailand until January 9, with the dogs being kept in kennels.

Prosecution said that they could not comment on this as it had not been checked by police.

District Judge Paul Copeland stated: “The situation is that if it is varied this woman will feel threatened and intimidated from returning to her home from holiday.”

Mr Taggart said he believed this could be addressed prior to her return as Wilkinson was due back before the court on January 7.

District Judge Copeland stated: “This court takes a very serious view of domestic assault, particularly on women. You with your record and capacity to act in this way are a danger to this woman.

“This assault of a woman is only aggravated by the attack on a pet dog. I wish to keep you as far away from her as possible to ensure her safety.”

The defendant was released on his own bail of £500 with conditions including; a prohibition on contact with the alleged injured party and he is not to enter Mullanasilla Road.

The case will return to court on January 7.

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