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Family return granted for Armagh man alleged to have bitten partner and hit his son

The district judge told him: 'You can consider yourself very lucky to have someone as supportive as this woman'

Armagh Courthouse

An Armagh man accused of biting his partner and hitting his son has been allowed to return to the family home.

Speaking at court, the 47-year-old’s partner said: “He needs help with his drinking. In the last 25 years this is the first time he has raised his hand, it was a moment of madness.”

Brendan Basketfield, of Arthurs Villas, appeared charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm and common assault at the city’s Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday.

As the charges were read, it was heard that both assaults are alleged to have taken place on December 5.

A constable stated he believed he could connect the defendant to the charges.

Prosecution said: “This is a slightly unusual case. It originates within a domestic setting with the AOABH relating to her partner and the common assault to his son.”

Outlining the case, the prosecution stated that on December 5 the alleged injured parties came back to the family home to find the defendant intoxicated up against the door.

They had to force their way in and then proceeded to take Basketfield to bed.

During this, the defendant is alleged to have hit his son and to have bitten his partner.

Prosecution stated: “I am inviting your worship to take the risk and allow him to return to the family home, neither of the injured parties in the case have made a statement.

“This is a 47-year-old man with no record and he now appears to have accepted that he does have difficulties with alcohol.”

Prosecution continued: “During interview he said he simply could not remember what happened but that if that is what his partner and son said then it must have been.

“He has been living with his brother since the incident. He has confirmed the defendant has been abstinent during that period and has attended with his GP.”

Basketfield’s partner, who gave evidence, said: “I am fully confident that if he does not drink no harm will come to myself or my son.

“He needs help with his drinking. In the last 25 years this is the first time he has raised his hand, it was a moment of madness.”

District Judge Paul Copeland stated: “That is very little comfort to you, who was lying in a hospital bed with serious injuries.”

The alleged injured party replied: “I think this will scare him into getting help”.

Addressing the defendant, District Judge Copeland said: “You can consider yourself very lucky to have someone as supportive as this woman.

“Rarely have I heard someone in court like that, especially those who have been on the receiving end of a cruel and unprovoked attack.”

He added: “It is with some reluctance that I am prepared to release you on bail to this address. It has nothing to do with the fact that it is Christmas Eve.

“If you abuse the trust of this woman, myself and the court your feet will not touch the ground until you are in Maghaberry and you will stay there until this is dealt with.”

Basketfield was released on his own bail of £500 with conditions including; a prohibition on alcohol and a curfew between 9.30 and 6am.

The case will return to court on January 14 for an update.

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