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Woman allegedly beaten with bat and had gun held to her head

Courts justice

A twenty-eight-year-old man accused of carrying out a disturbing campaign of domestic violence including degrading verbal abuse, assaults with a baseball bat and holding a firearm to the alleged victim’s head, has been remanded in custody.

In order of alleged occurrence, Kieran Foster of Hillhead, Stewartstown is charged with engaging in a course of abusive behaviour likely to cause physical or psychological harm on dates from June 2022 onwards.

Then between March and December 2023 Foster is alleged to have caused the complainant actual bodily harm on four occasions and a lesser assault in January 2024.

At the beginning of March this year there was an alleged incident in which Foster was allegedly twice in possession of an offensive weapon, namely a baseball bat, with intent to inflict actual bodily harm and a firearm to cause the complainant to believe violence would be used against her.

Finally, on March 10, Foster is accused of possessing cocaine and cannabis.

A police officer told Omagh Magistrates’ Court the charges could be connected.

He explained on March 4 police received a report from the NI Housing Executive who set out how the complainant had disclosed she needed an emergency placement.

Later that day officers spoke with the complainant, but she denied any assault had occurred, however a relative said she had told them Foster had beaten her feet with a bat.

While police noted heavy bruising to the complainant’s feet, she insisted she had fallen but appeared “quite panicked”.

Officers felt the injuries were not consistent with her version of events.

Four days later a further report was received, this time from a social worker at Antrim Area Hospital, where the complainant disclosed that Foster, whom she referred to as her ex-partner, had assaulted her numerous times.

She claimed she was struck with a baseball bat and was covered in cigarette burns.

Hospital staff were very concerned and police attended with her again.

This time she disclosed “further and more serious offences” including Foster allegedly holding a gun to her head.

Other claims involved him smashing a mug against a wall in early 2023, resulting in shards cutting her feet and hands.

At Christmas, Foster allegedly struck her to the face causing swelling and a burst lip.

In January this year she claimed he stamped on her foot, bit her shoulder and arm and struck her to the mouth.

Last week, Foster allegedly struck her to the legs, back and feet with a baseball bat after which he left their home for a short time, then returned and, “held a gun to her head and pulled the trigger, which clicked”.

The complainant reported ongoing mental abuse such as Foster “calling her useless and no-one would want her or love her. She was only good for sex. He told her she could never hold down a job and often called her a stupid little girl over and over again”.

He was arrested and during interview provided a short pre-prepared statement and thereafter provided no comment to all questions.

Under defence cross-examination the officer confirmed a baseball bat was located during a search “but no firearm has been accounted for”.

It was also confirmed while Foster did not go into any detail “he did say the injuries might have been self-inflicted”.

A defence barrister urged Deputy District Judge Peter Prenter to release Foster on bail, suggesting any risk could be managed with appropriate conditions.

However he said: “Given the serious nature of these offences I am refusing bail. More importantly, the series of offences is concerning. That’s enough for risk of further offending.”

Foster will appear again by video-link at Dungannon Magistrates’ Court on April 3.

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