Dungannon man threatens to ‘find and kill’ 13-year-old girl following beating with belt

East Tyrone Magistrate's Court sitting at Dungannon Courthouse
East Tyrone Magistrate's Court sitting at Dungannon Courthouse

A 13-year-old girl fled from her home as her mother’s cousin chased her and beat her with his belt around the legs, a court has heard.

The defendant, a Dungannon man in his forties, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the injured party, later said, “I’m going to find her and kill her.”

East Tyrone Magistrates Court heard how police were contacted by a member of the public who said that a 13-year-old girl “in a distressed state” had ran into her house claiming that she had been assaulted.

Police attended the scene and talked to the girl who claimed that her mother’s cousin, who lived with the family, had shouted at her, grabbed her left wrist and had hit her with his belt. The assault left welts on her legs.

The man was arrested and under interview told the police that the 13-year-old “didn’t behave after school so I beat her and she ran away” before denying the allegations put to him. He told police that the girl was “crazy” and required mental assessment.

“She sees ghosts and tells lies,” he told police stating that she had made it all up in order to play on the computer which he had normally used.

Social Services had attended the house later that day and the 13-year-old described how her mother’s cousin had forced his way into her bedroom and when she ran into another room he forced his way in there too, leading to her flight from the house.

The social worker noted the injury to the girl’s upper leg and stated that her mother “appeared terrified” of her cousin.

They reported that he said, “I’m going to find her and kill her.”

Mr Rory Maguire, defending, told the court that his client had been in N. Ireland since March 2013 and had been in custody since October 2015 because he could not secure a bail address.

Handing down a sentence of five months imprisonment, District Judge John Meehan said, “The court has heard that there was denigration of this child. Her mother is terrified of her cousin.

“There is little to be said for this situation where you pursue a 13-year-old when armed with a belt, beat her and force her to flee her house.”

An offender’s levy of £25 was also imposed by Judge Meehan.