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Man with 108 previous convictions refused bail on charge of trying to choke his ex-girlfriend

The district judge turned down the application and said he believes the alleged injured party 'needs protecting'

Armagh Courthouse

A Craigavon man with 108 previous convictions – accused of assaulting his ex-girlfriend – has been refused bail.

The district judge said he was worried about the safety of the alleged injured party, who had been assessed as being at high risk of domestic violence, and believed she needed protecting from the 32-year-old.

Dwayne Michael Mullan, of Aldervale, appeared charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm, burglary with intent to commit grievous bodily harm, attempting to choke and possession of a Class C drug at Armagh Magistrates’ on Tuesday, where he appeared via video link from Maghbaerry.

The case had been listed for the purpose of a bail application, to which prosecution objected.

It was heard that on March 25, the defendant was alleged to have entered his ex-girlfriend’s home and assaulted her.

Mullan was accused of punching the alleged injured party to the head as he entered, and as she tried to run upstairs continued to hit her.

He is alleged to have placed his hands around the neck of his ex-girlfriend and held a pillow over her face to stop her screaming.

Court heard it alleged that after punching her several more times Mullan then apologised for his actions.

However, the defendant is alleged to have punched her again after he accused her of looking at his phone.

Mullan’s ex-partner also claimed he had made threats to steal her car.

The defendant is then said to have fallen asleep on the sofa.

When he awoke the next morning, the alleged injured party stated that Mullan once more apologised. She contacted police after dropping him home.

It was heard that the alleged victim had several injuries to her head and lip.

Mullan was arrested, during the course of this 12 diazepam tablets were found on his person.

During interview, he claimed that he had been invited to the property and claimed no assault had taken place.

District Judge Peter Magill informed the court that Mallon was a man with 108 previous convictions.

A constable outlined the reasons for bail being objected to.

She stated: “It is felt there is a high likelihood he will re-offend, he has a substantial record for domestic offence and convictions for serious offences.

“He has breached three previous court orders and had 29 previous convictions for drugs.”

The constable said: “He has been assessed as a category 2 violent offender and has committed offences whilst on bail.

“There are also concerns for the injured party’s safety as she has now been assessed as being at high risk of domestic violence.”

Defence counsel stated: “The only entry on his record relating to this injured party was a TADA (taking and driving away) which he entered a guilty plea to.

“He has been in custody since March 27 on these matters and the address offered is in Craigavon.”

He continued: “He had been attending a methadone programme in November. Whilst in custody, he has passed four drugs tests, he has a job and is availing of counselling.

“He is concerned he will lose his Housing Executive home. He has a hospital appointment regarding his liver, and children from previous relationships who he is eager to see.”

Prosecution informed court that the matters were to proceed on indictment with a preliminary enquiry to be fixed in one week’s time.

District Judge Magill stated: “I am not satisfied that this man is a suitable candidate for bail, this is an extremely worrying set of facts.

“I am worried about the involvement of drugs and alcohol. I am also worried about the safety of this injured party, I believe she needs protecting.”

Bail was refused, and the case will return on June 26 when a date for a preliminary enquiry will be fixed.

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