Northern Ireland news

Man 'doused sister in Buckfast before punching and heatbutting her', court told

Refusing bail, a judge described his application as being close to "hopeless"

A MAN allegedly doused his sister in Buckfast tonic wine before inflicting multiple facial fractures on her, the High Court has heard.

Prosecutors claimed Stephen Magee (37) carried out the attack which resulted in the woman undergoing surgery to have plates and screws inserted.

Magee, of Burren Meadow in Newcastle, Co Down, denies causing grievous bodily harm with intent and making threats to kill her.

Refusing bail, a judge described his application as being close to "hopeless".

The accused's sister told police he turned violent after they had been drinking with friends at her home in the Craigavon area on June 13.

She alleged that Magee appeared in her bedroom and dragged her out of bed onto the floor.

Crown lawyer Kate McKay told the court: "She said he poured Buckfast wine over her hair and face, and told her he was going to kill her."

Magee then punched his sister to the face and headbutted her, it was claimed.

"She stated that she remembers her nose bursting and blood flowing, which caused her to choke," Mrs McKay continued.

"The next thing she remembers is waking up in hospital and a doctor saying she had been knocked unconscious."

The court heard the woman sustained multiple fractures to her cheekbone and eye socket, along with bruising and swelling down to her neck.

She claimed Magee was still there when she returned home, telling her: "I can't look at you - look what I've done to your face."

Later that month the woman underwent facial surgery at the Ulster Hospital.

"She had to have plates and screws fitted to fix the damage caused by the assault," Mrs McKay added.

Following his arrest on June 27, Magee provided police with a prepared statement accusing his sister of making a malicious complaint.

Defence counsel said his client believes the allegations against him were "dreamt up" after he provided information to social services about the woman's children.

"He denies being in the house, and denies the comments allegedly made two days later," the barrister told the court.

But denying the application, Mr Justice McCloskey ruled there was a risk of re-offending which could have the "gravest consequences imaginable".

The judge added: "As a general rule there's no entirely hopeless case, but this one comes very close indeed."

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