Northern Ireland news

Child (3) witnessed mother being choked, court told

Juris Kuznecous (29) is charged with two counts of attempted grievous bodily harm with intent, and three common assaults 

A THREE-year-old boy allegedly witnessed his mother being choked and having a pillow put over her face, the High Court has heard.

The woman claimed she would have been strangled if her child had not walked into the bedroom in Newry, Co Down.

A prosecution lawyer said: "She stated that she thought it was 'the end'."

Details emerged as a 29-year-old man accused of attacks on her applied for bail.

Juris Kuznecous, a Latvian national with an address at Rose Court in Newry, is charged with two counts of attempted grievous bodily harm with intent, and three common assaults.

Police went to the alleged victim's home in June this year after receiving a 999 call and hearing screaming in the background, the court heard.

A Crown lawyer said the woman later stated Kuznecous had thrown her on a bed and started choking her.

She alleged he continued to choke her with one hand and placed a pillow over her face with the other.

At that point, according to her account, her son entered the room, saw what was happening and began to scream.

"She believes the child coming in stopped her from being strangled," the prosecutor said.

Kuznecous allegedly then went out and had a cigarette before returning and shoving a bunch of flowers in the woman's face.

"An account was provided by the injured party of the relationship where she was in fear of the applicant, and if she stood up to him he would assault her," the Crown lawyer added.

Kuznecous mounted a fresh application for bail following confirmation that the charges against him have been reduced from the original allegation of attempted murder.

His barrister argued that the prosecution case will be difficult to prove.

Based on the period the accused has already spent in custody, the judge said he will consider granting bail - but only under tight conditions to an area well away from Newry.

Adjourning for inquiries into a suitable address, Sir Richard McLaughlin said: "The main thing is this lady must be free to lead her life and go about her business without fear of injury."

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