Northern Ireland

Woman made to eat food off floor by partner, court told

Barry Maguire (39) from Castleview Crescent, Omagh is accused of unlawfully and maliciously inflicting grievous bodily harm on his partner
Barry Maguire (39) from Castleview Crescent, Omagh is accused of unlawfully and maliciously inflicting grievous bodily harm on his partner Barry Maguire (39) from Castleview Crescent, Omagh is accused of unlawfully and maliciously inflicting grievous bodily harm on his partner

A court has heard details of alleged coercive control and degrading abuse which involved a woman being made to eat food off the floor while being filmed.

Barry Maguire (39) from Castleview Crescent, Omagh is accused of unlawfully and maliciously inflicting grievous bodily harm on his partner, intentionally choking her, restricting breathing and flow of blood to her brain, threatening to kill her and engaging in a course of abusive behaviour causing physical or psychological harm.

Offending is alleged to have occurred on November 30.

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Dungannon Magistrates Court was told the partner fled to a neighbour’s home in the aftermath of an alleged attack and from there was taken to hospital where she remains.

The neighbour contacted police and described: “Signs of coercive control and degrading abuse. The injured party is covered in bruises all over her body at apparent different stages of healing. She is vulnerable and has no family support.”

Police opposed bail saying independent witnesses to the alleged offences are neighbours, therefore Maguire’s address was deemed unsuitable for release.

Efforts are underway to find alternative accommodation for the woman on her release from hospital.

District Judge Francis Rafferty noted: “Amongst other things, the defendant indicated that the injured party bruises easily.”

A detective said this was discussed with woman who states she has no medical condition to this effect and “while she does bruise easily, it’s not without cause”.

The judge continued: “There is also a suggestion the defendant made the injured party eat food off the floor, which he denied but when police advised they would be examining his phone, he then claimed to have forgotten, and he may in fact have taken a photograph of her eating from the floor.”

Turning to Maguire, Judge Rafferty asked if he wished to tell the court why he should be granted bail.

Maguire replied: “I’ll be of no harm to anybody else. Nearly 90% of these claims are not correct. I would like the chance to get things together so I can get defended properly. I wasn’t really planning on defending myself. My plan was to get bail to sort out proper representation because I’m obviously not a solicitor and I’m not going to do a very good job.”

Judge Rafferty refused bail and said: “The court notes you say 90% of the claims are incorrect which means 10% of them – even on your suggestion – are correct."

Maguire will appear again by video-link at Omagh Magistrates Court on December 19.