Man ‘pulled lumps out of ex-wife’s head’

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A Coleraine man alleged to have pulled lumps of hair out of his ex-wife’s head, had his bail varied to allow him to visit his 81-year-old granny in Belfast on Thursday and then to stay over at a hotel in the city to see in the New Year with family members

Aidan Malachy Michael Austin (40), of Irish Society Court, was also previously alleged to have breached his bail by arranging for his new partner to go round to his ex-wife’s home with Christmas presents.

Austin’s bail conditions had included a curfew and a ban on drinking in licensed premises but at Ballymena Magistrates Court on Thursday.

District Judge Des Perry suspended the conditions, because the defendant visiting his gran at a care home was a “special occasion”.

However, he warned if bail was breached by Austin contacting his ex-wife then the defendant would be brought into custody and a surety of £750 given to the court by Austin’s father would be forfeited.

A police officer had objected to the changes to bail saying there had been incidents of domestic violence and alcohol was a feature.

The officer alleged that on one occasion Austin had assaulted his ex-partner by “pulling lumps of hair out of her head through a window”.

And he said bail was allegedly breached by Austin arranging for his new partner to deliver Christmas presents.

A defence solicitor said family members were travelling from England for the family occasion in Belfast.

The case has been adjourned to January 18 at Coleraine Magistrates Court.