Northern Ireland news

Man allegedly threatened to shoot mother, court hears

A man allegedly threatened to shoot his mother after being challenged about suspected drink-driving, the High Court has heard

A MAN allegedly threatened to shoot his mother and broke her partner's ribs after being challenged about suspected drink-driving, the High Court has heard.

Prosecutors claimed Phillip Irwin attacked the couple at their home in Portavogie, Co Down.

The 39-year-old denies charges of causing grievous bodily harm, common assault and threats to kill.

Bail was refused due to the risk of committing any further offences.

Crown lawyer Kate McKay claimed Irwin, currently of no fixed abode, arrived in a new car at his mother's house in the village on May 7.

He had a shower, came downstairs and declared that he was heading out, the court heard.

But according to the prosecution a row broke out when his mother's partner suggested it would be foolish to drive because he may be under the influence of drink or drugs.

Irwin allegedly punched the man on the mouth, causing him to fall to the ground and strike his ribs against a kitchen worktop on the way down.

It was claimed the accused then hit his mother on the head, threatening her before leaving that he would shoot her if she phoned the police.

Her partner was later treated in hospital for three broken ribs and a broken toe, the court heard.

Irwin, is further charged with driving while disqualified, making off without paying for petrol, and breaching a Violent Offences Prevention Order (VOPO) over separate incidents on the same date.

During police interviews he claimed his mother and her partner inflicted each other's injuries in a vodka-fuelled row.

Defence counsel Michael Ward submitted: "He said both of them were highly intoxicated, became involved in some argument and then set upon him when he came downstairs."

Mr Ward also contended that his client has been subject to the VOPO for 16 months without any prior issues.

But ruling Irwin must remain in custody, Mr Justice Colton said: "This man is not a suitable candidate for bail."

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