Northern Ireland news

Woman left blinded after attack by her husband, court told

The mother of a four week old baby has been left blinded in one eye after a brutal attack allegedly carried out by her husband, Dungannon Magistrates 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.

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

Opposing bail, a police officer said the victim was brought to the Royal Victoria Hospital on November, 7 by McDonagh and his mother.

She had sustained a severe injury to her right eye and underwent emergency surgery.

The socket was fractured and she is now permanently blind in that eye.

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

Officers attended, recording her comments on body-worn cameras. She described McDonagh delivering a blow her face, during a visit to his mother’s home.

During interview McDonagh replied no comment to all questions, although “became emotional and cried” when shown footage of his wife’s disclosures.

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

Arguing bail should 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 set bail 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.

The case is due back in court next month.

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