Northern Ireland news

Derry man charged with drugs offences threatened to have former girlfriend 'wiped off face of earth', court hears

The High Court heard claims that a 31-year-old Derry man facing drugs charges was returned to custody amid further claims of harassment against two former partners

A Derry man charged with drugs offences allegedly threatened to have a former girlfriend "wiped off the face of the earth" with a click of his fingers, the High Court has heard.

Prosecutors claimed the 31-year-old also separately told his ex-wife that he was going to make her "suffer".

The defendant, who is also accused of possessing extreme pornography and an indecent photograph of a child, cannot be identified for legal reasons.

He was previously granted bail on charges of having the images and being concerned in the supply of cocaine, cannabis and Xanax drugs.

Those alleged offences were committed between January and June last year.

Reporting restrictions were imposed at the time to protect his anonymity under the terms of the Human Rights Act.

He was returned to custody earlier this month amid further charges of harassment against two former partners.

The man's ex-wife claimed he had sent abusive text messages and made telephone calls which left her in fear he would harm her, the court heard.

In one alleged communication he stated: "Wait 'til I get you, I will make you suffer."

Crown lawyer Conor Maguire said: "She said she believed these comments were made to intimidate and frighten her."

Another woman said to have been in a relationship with the defendant while he was still married also claimed he made unwanted approaches and turned up at her work, according to the prosecution.

She told police the alleged behaviour had escalated with the man continuing to harass her on Snapchat social media.

It was claimed that he met her on one occasion and asked her to withdraw a complaint relating to a separate investigation.

"She stated that he threatened her by saying 'You're lucky to be walking about because with a click of my fingers I could have you wiped off the face of the earth'," Mr Maguire added.

The accused denies the harassment charges, and has made counter-allegations.

Defence counsel said: "He says these (claims) are a complete fabrication, an attempt to sabotage the applicant by two aggrieved ex-partners."

Adjourning the man's bid to be released from custody again, Mr Justice McCloskey requested further witness statements.

The judge added: "As matters stand at present this is a difficult bail application and one which is far from guaranteed to be successful for the applicant."

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