Cookstown man accused of driving car at ex-partner and knocking her onto bonnet


A woman was hit by a car and flung on to the bonnet during an alleged attempt by an ex-partner to kill her in Dungannon, it was claimed in court.

The victim claimed Stephen McCourt bit her and tried to gouge an eye before forcing her onto the road and then driving at her.

The 30-year-old accused faces charges of attempted murder, aggravated vehicle taking causing injury, kidnapping and dangerous driving.

McCourt, of Central Avenue, Cookstown, Co Tyrone, was refused bail at the High Court in Belfast on Friday.

Prosecutors claimed he launched his attack during an incident in the Dungannon area on April 8.

It was alleged that he got into his ex-partner’s car after his own vehicle broke down.

The woman told police he drove her at speed to a country road where she punched, bitten and then pushed out.

According to her account McCourt drove off before returning and allegedly threatening to plant heroin in her house if she told police.

Philip Henry, prosecuting, said: “The complainant then states she heard the engine revving and when she turned around she was struck by the vehicle and thrown up onto the bonnet.

“She grabbed the windscreen wipers as the applicant drove at speed, causing her to slide over the bonnet.”

It was claimed the woman shot onto the road when the car was brought to an emergency halt.

“She then states he (McCourt) got out, came over and kicked her in the ribs, complaining she had broken his window wipers and calling her abusive names,” Mr Henry added.

Attempts were allegedly made to beat her with the wipers.

McCourt was later arrested after the woman had been found in an “extremely distressed and disorientated state”.

Blood was found on the bonnet of the car.

It was accepted by the prosecution that the accused’s ex-partner later changed her account of events on the day.

Defence counsel Tom McCreanor said McCourt claimed he decided to drive because she had been unfit due to taking drugs.

“She started to verbally abused him and started to punch him,” the barrister contended.

“He said he attempted to defend himself by attempting to grab her arms. He denies (inflicting) the bite marks.”

Mr Justice Gillen acknowledged potential inconsistencies in the alleged victim’s account.

But refusing bail due to the risk of further offences, he added: “Nothing can take away from the presence of the marks on her I have seen in the photographs.”