Northern Ireland news

Omagh mum and child 'lucky to survive' jump from window during alleged hate crime, says judge

Sean Small (50), of St Patrick's Terrace in Omagh

A mother and her three-year-old son who plunged from an upstairs window during a suspected hate crime were lucky not to have been killed, a High Court judge has said.

Lord Justice Treacy described the "pure terror" the woman must have felt when her next door neighbour allegedly attacked the family's home in Omagh.

Sean Small (50), of St Patrick's Terrace in the Co Tyrone town, is accused of racially-motivated offences against the Ukrainian national and her Pakistani partner.

During a bail application prosecutors claimed he had been banging on the victims' door and swinging a wooden table leg on February 1.

The woman then went out a first floor window holding her son and leapt to the ground.

She suffered a fractured pelvis and may require surgery, while the little boy sustained swelling to his foot.

Small faces charges of causing grievous bodily harm with intent to the woman, a common assault on her partner and threatening to kill both of them.

He is also accused of possessing an offensive weapon in public, criminal damage to a front and rear door, and harassing the couple over a four-month period.

In police interviews he denied the alleged offences, claiming he stayed at home that day watching rugby and "keeps himself to himself".

A Crown lawyer added: "He denied any racial hatred or harassment of the family."

Appearing by a prison video-link, Small interjected in the hearing at one point to shout: "It's all lies."

Bail was refused because no suitable address was available.

Lord Justice Treacy also highlighted the alleged racial motivation behind the attack.

He added: "The woman, because of pure fear and terror, was forced to jump out a window with her three-year-old son.

"She is lucky neither her nor the child were killed or more seriously injured."

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