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Man accused of attempting to murder partner is refused bail

 A man accused of trying to kill his partner has been refused High Court bail

A MAN charged with attempting to murder his partner allegedly phoned police to describe thinking about "strangling her until there was no breath left in her", the High Court heard today.

Prosecutors said Joseph McKenna made a 999 call to claim he had just tried to choke her and that his "horrible" actions should not go unpunished.

Details emerged as the 30-year-old, of Dingwell Park in Lurgan, Co Armagh, was refused bail.

McKenna is also accused of attempting to choke the woman with intent to commit murder over the incident on June 16.

Crown lawyer Catherine Chasemore told the court McKenna phoned police to set out his alleged actions before leaving her conscious and breathing.

During a nine-minute call he stated: "I had a thought in my head that I was going to strangle her until there was no breath left in her".

According to the prosecution McKenna said he let go when his thoughts changed to leaving the house.

Mr Justice Colton heard the defendant continued: "I sort of lost it, and I don't believe I should go unpunished for my actions because they were quite horrible."

He described thinking about keeping his hands around her throat until she was "away", it was claimed.

In the call McKenna also allegedly said: "That shouldn't be a thought in anybody's head.

"I did come to my senses, but at the same time it's a horrible thing to do to anybody, never mind the person that you love the most and... the mother of your children."

He ended by telling police he would wait for them outside a bar in Lurgan.

His partner made an initial statement claiming he had grabbed her by the throat and choked her until she thought she would die.

Following his arrest McKenna claimed to have used a "bad choice of words" in the 999 call and may have been "acting the lad", the court heard.

Defence barrister Barry McKenna said it was an unusual case where the accused contacts police to report the alleged offences.

He argued, however, that it was highly unlikely for the attempted murder charge to be sustained.

But the judge stressed the alleged offences could have resulted in death.

Ruling that McKenna must remain in custody, he said: "I'm concerned that if I did admit the applicant to bail, even with conditions, there could be a recurrence of acts of violence, serious violence."

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