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Man accused of multiple assaults on ex-partner and holding knife to her throat is granted bail

Objecting to bail a constable stated that there were 'concerns' that the defendant would go on to commit further offences

Armagh Courthouse

A Newry man accused of assaulting his ex-partner on multiple occasions has been granted bail.

Court heard that on one occasion the 28-year-old is alleged to have held a knife to the injured party’s throat for approximately 20 seconds.

Christopher Hughes, of Cloghanramer Road, appeared via videolink from police custody at Armagh Magistrates’, sitting at Lisburn, on Tuesday, where he faced 20 charges.

These included assault occasioning actual bodily harm, five counts of threats to kill, two counts of attempted criminal damage, nine counts of common assault, possession of an offensive weapon with intent to commit an indictable offence, using a motor vehicle without insurance and being an unaccompanied L driver.

These offences are alleged to have occurred on various dates between December 26, 2018 and May 15 this year.

The accused confirmed that he understood the charges against him and was connected to these by a constable.

Defence solicitor Louise Moley made no question of this connection and informed the court a bail application would be made on Hughes’ behalf, which was objected to.

Outlining objections, a constable stated that there were “concerns” that the defendant would go on to commit further offences.

They said: “There is a history of domestic issues between the parties. There is also an entry on his record for a domestic assault on his mother from July 2015.”

It was heard the large majority of these offences related to a now ex-partner of Hughes.

The constable stated the couple had been in a relationship and the alleged injured party claimed that the violence started in January of 2019.

District Judge Mark McGarrity questioned the constable about the alleged incident which had involved an offensive weapon, namely a knife.

They stated the alleged injured party claimed to have been threatened by Hughes. During this she further claimed he had held a knife to her throat for approximately 20 seconds.

Court heard that when Hughes’ ex went to collect her belongings on May 16, “she spoke to him and family members and a lot of lies were uncovered” including that he had allegedly habitually driven her car despite not having a full driving licence.

When some of his alleged lies were confirmed by his grandmother, Hughes allegedly threatened to kill her.

Ms Moley stated: “The concern is a fear that Mr Hughes will commit further offences. It is accepted he has a record but I would submit that it is not the most serious.

“There is an offence in July 2015. On that occasion he assaulted his mother and her recently new partner, but she is still with her partner and Mr Hughes now has a good relationship with this man.”

The constable stated that the relationship between the pair had ended on May 16 and informed the court that the alleged injured party resides in the Republic of Ireland.

It was heard that the defendant had been unable to attend Castleblayney Garda station on Monday in relation to other allegations.

The constable outlined that Hughes had connections to the Republic of Ireland as his father lived there and had in 2017 obstructed police by providing false details.

District Judge McGarrity ruled that the “risks could be managed with the appropriate conditions”.

The defendant was granted his own bail of £500 with the conditions of having no contact with witnesses in the case and to report to police three times a week.

The case was adjourned until August 4 for an update.

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