New mum blinded in eye af­ter as­sault by hus­band, court told

Belfast Telegraph - - NEWS - BY STAFF RE­PORTER

THE mother of a four-week-old baby has been left blind in one eye af­ter a bru­tal at­tack car­ried out by her hus­band, a court has heard.

While taken to hos­pi­tal by her al­leged at­tacker and his mother, the vic­tim was too scared to tell med­i­cal staff what had oc­curred un­til both had left, it was said.

In the dock of Dun­gan­non Mag­is­trates Court was Sean McDon­agh (21) of The Glen, Coal­is­land, who is ac­cused of un­law­fully and ma­li­ciously in­flict­ing griev­ous bod­ily harm on his wife, the mother of the new baby and a tod­dler.

A po­lice of­fi­cer said the charge could be con­nected. Op­pos­ing bail, she ex­plained that the vic­tim was taken to the Royal Vic­to­ria Hos­pi­tal on Wed­nes­day by McDon­agh and his mother.

She had sus­tained a se­vere in­jury to her right eye and needed emer­gency surgery. The socket was frac­tured and she is now blind in that eye.

McDon­agh and his mother stayed at the hos­pi­tal for some time, but when they fi­nally left, the woman con­tacted po­lice.

Of­fi­cers at­tended, record­ing her com­ments on body-worn cam­eras. She said fear of her hus­band was why she waited un­til he and his mother had left be­fore speak­ing to med­i­cal staff and po­lice, the court heard.

She de­scrib­ing McDon­agh de­liv­er­ing a blow her face dur­ing a visit to his mother’s home.

Po­lice called with the mother who ad­vised McDon­agh would be con­tacted. He sur­ren­dered to po­lice later that day.

The court heard that in an in­ter­view he replied “no com­ment” to all ques­tions, but “be­came emo­tional and cried” on be­ing shown footage of his wife’s dis­clo­sures. The of­fi­cer said: “Po­lice have con­cerns of vic­tim in­ter­fer­ence. She has ex­pressed fears he will at­tempt to visit her in hos­pi­tal. There are two very small chil­dren in the re­la­tion­ship, one aged two and the baby, four weeks.

“Po­lice are par­tic­u­larly con­cerned the vic­tim was un­able to speak freely to med­i­cal staff due to the pres­ence of the de­fen­dant and his mother. We are con­cerned for her safety. She has suf­fered ex­tremely se­ri­ous, life-chang­ing in­juries.”

Un­der cross-ex­am­i­na­tion the of­fi­cer con­firmed that McDon­agh has no pre­vi­ous record, there is no do­mes­tic vi­o­lence his­tory and that he sur­ren­dered to po­lice with­out in­ci­dent.

Ar­gu­ing for bail to be granted, the de­fence said: “My client is a rel­a­tively young man with no pre­vi­ous. It is ap­pre­ci­ated the of­fence is se­ri­ous and the in­juries ap­pear to be life-chang­ing.”

District Judge John Mee­han said: “The rel­e­vant forces must gather around this vic­tim as the court is all too fa­mil­iar with is­sues se­cur­ing a state­ment of com­plaint. How­ever, I bear in mind there is body-worn footage, so a state­ment is not just as crit­i­cal in this in­stance.”

The of­fi­cer said the vic­tim may soon be dis­charged.

Bail was set at £500 with a £500 surety. McDon­agh is banned from en­ter­ing within five miles of a spec­i­fied area of Omagh, and all con­tact with the chil­dren is to be in­sti­gated and con­ducted by So­cial Ser­vices only.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.