Northern Ireland news

Man dangled two-year-old daughter upside down over stairs after knocking mother unconscious, court hears

The 20-year-old defendant is also accused of gagging the woman to stifle screams for help

A CO Down man allegedly dangled his two-year-old daughter upside down over a flight of stairs after knocking her mother unconscious, the High Court has heard.

The 20-year-old defendant is also accused of gagging the woman to stifle screams for help and smashing up her home in Newtownards with a sledgehammer.

Armed military and police negotiators called to the property were told it was booby-trapped and that he would only be coming out "in a body bag", it was claimed.

The man, who is not being named to protect his daughter's identity, is charged with a catalogue of domestic violence-related offences on dates between June 1 and July 24 this year.

Granting bail on strict conditions, Mr Justice Humphreys stressed his decision was based on the accused's relatively young age.

He denies multiple charges of common assault and criminal damage, as well as counts of child cruelty, false imprisonment, domestic abuse and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Prosecution counsel David McClean said police were informed that a row over a phone notification led to him throttling his partner and refusing to let her leave with their young daughter. At one stage he allegedly grabbed the woman by the neck and trailed her downstairs, knocking her out.

"He then went to the landing, holding (their daughter) upside down by the ankles and dangled her over the stairs."

The defendant was arrested following a stand-off involving trained police negotiators and armed response officers.

Mr McClean added: "He said he was wearing a bullet-proof vest and would only come out in a body bag."

Defence barrister Conan Rea argued that his client had instead been dressed in a vest used to play Ubisoft laser games. He told the court that the accused should now be released because the statement of complaint has since been fully withdrawn.

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