Northern Ireland news

Man accused of trying to cause death of unborn child by kicking heavily pregnant partner in the stomach

Bail was refused to the 20-year-old defendant, who is not being named for legal reasons

A BELFAST man allegedly tried to cause the death of an unborn child by kicking his heavily pregnant partner in the stomach, the High Court has heard.

He is also accused of stamping on the woman's head and throwing muck over her during a row last month.

Bail was refused to the 20-year-old defendant, who is not being named for legal reasons.

He faces charges of attempted child destruction, attempted grievous bodily harm with intent, and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

The man was arrested after his pregnant girlfriend was taken to hospital following the alleged attack in north Belfast on September 19.

Prosecution counsel Adrian Higgins said she told police he had stamped on her stomach and head.

Independent evidence has been provided from a motorist who got out at the scene and asked if the woman needed help, the court heard.

According to that witness' account, the injured party said she had been attacked following an argument with her boyfriend.

She claimed the accused kicked her in the belly, shouting that the baby was not his and he didn't care.

The woman allegedly stated: "He stamped on my head and threw muck at me."

Opposing his application for bail, Mr Higgins contended: "This incident occurred when she was seven months pregnant with the applicant's child."

Defence lawyers argued that he should be released because his partner has withdrawn her original complaint.

The court heard she has now described the original allegations as "overblown".

Predicting the attempted child destruction charge will not proceed, barrister David Heraghty argued there was a significant change in circumstances.

He added: "This is a very troubled relationship, with a very troubled person in the injured party."

However, Mr Justice Horner ruled that the accused must remain in custody.

Denying bail, the judge pointed out: "This was an (alleged) attack on a heavily pregnant female by a young man."

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