Derry man charged with kidnapping wife

A man has appeared in court in Derry charged with assaulting, kidnapping and falsely imprisoning his wife of ten days.

Martin McDonagh, 21, from Iskaheen View in the Waterside, denies the allegations.

The city's magistrates' court heard that the incident is alleged to have happened on Saturday.

A police officer told the court that police received a 999 call on Saturday afternoon stating that a woman was lying on Strabane Old Road after she had been assaulted by a man.

On the way to the scene, police received another 999 call that a man was seen lifting a unconscious woman off the road and pushing her into a van.

A police officer said they stopped a van five miles away in the village of Magheramason.

There, the woman who was in a distressed state told police officers that she had got married the previous week.

She said she had an argument with her husband earlier in the day in Altnagelvin hospital.

She alleged that her husband had punched her and that during the alleged assault she threw herself out of a moving van.

She said the alleged assaults started after she had told her husband she no longer loved him.

The officer said the injured party had bite marks to her left and right shoulders, bite marks to her right arm, bruising to her cheek and nose, scrapes on her right hip and she complained of a severe pain to her stomach.

She said her husband had previously assaulted her using a stiletto heel.

The police officer said she objected to the defendant receiving bail because of the gravity of the offences.

She claimed that while in custody the defendant asked family members to contact his wife to try to persuade her to withdraw her allegations.

The officer said the woman complained that she has been assaulted by her husband on three separate occasions and was so afraid of him she had returned to her family home.

Applying for bail, defence solicitor Ciaran McGuinness said the defendant denied the allegations.

He said the defendant, who has no criminal record, claimed that his wife had grabbed the steering wheel of the van while he was driving it and jumped out of the vehicle.

He said McDonagh then stopped the van, picked her off the ground and put her back into the vehicle.

Mr McGuinness said the alleged injured party had yet to record a statement and the police had yet to interview the two people who dialled the 999 emergency number.

The district judge refused bail and described the allegations as "extremely serious".

McDonagh will appear againon August 23.