Pregnant partner assault accused refused bail to attend birth

A TWENTY-four year old man accused of assaulting his pregnant partner has been refused bail to be permitted to attend the child’s birth.

Hugo Miguel Soares Rodridgues from Northland Row, Dungannon has been remanded in custody since being arrested on May 2. It is alleged he grabbed his partner round the neck several times, then injected himself with heroin in her presence. The victim, who is five months pregnant with the accused’s child, was said to be in a very distraught state, as she explained what had happened, and pointed out damage to some pictures which she claimed was caused by Rodridgues.

He was located and arrested but denied the assault and in relation to the pictures, he claimed the victim has done this herself. Whilst Rodridgues was being interviewed police received information stating he had a quantity of heroin hidden inside his body.

A search was carried out and approximately £1000 of the Class A drug was recovered, which was estimated to be about 50 street deals.

In the meantime the victim confirmed there had been a similar incident of domestic violence in 2009 when Rodridgues punched her in the face. A prosecution lawyer objected to bail on the rounds the accused is a habitual drug user, has a history of domestic violence and is presently on probation.

At the first appearance District Judge John Meehan noted there are serious issues with defendant and described the victim as “a vulnerable woman.” He said, “I absolutely refuse to grant bail as it would be reckless in the extreme. This unfortunate woman, who is five months pregnant, is high subservient to him in this classic domestic violence scenario. The defendant’s response to the charges is also classic, when he said, ‘It’s lies – all lies.’ In addition this man was on probation and managed to have £1000 worth of heroin secreted in his body. That shows a high level of determined defiance.”

Last week a solicitor acting for Rodridgues said he now desired to be released to attend the imminent birth of his child.

But Judge Meehan again noted he had serious concerns given the relationship between the accused and the victim.

An outspoken critic of domestic violence, and noted for his stern stance against offenders and potential witness interference, Judge Meehan said he could not consider bail under the circumstances.

A subsequent High Court application was also refused.

In the meantime, Rodridgues was remanded into police custody for 36 hours for further questioning on alleged drugs-related matters.

His case is to proceed to trial and he will appear for a preliminary enquiry on October 19, when an arraignment date will be fixed.