Newtown man accused of domestic abuse refused bail

OVER a year of domestic abuse was recorded against accused in diary kept by victim, a court has heard.
Appearing via videolink at Omagh Magistrates Court was Marcus Elliffe (38) of Magheraveely Road, Newtownbutler, as he applied for bail.
Elliffe was held overnight at Strabane PSNI station following his arrest on March 18.
The Newtownbutler man faces 15 charges, of which there are five threats to kill, three assault occasioning actual bodily harm, two charges of false imprisonment, harassment, common assault, attempted choking with intent, harassment and two breaches of a non-molestation order, between March 2023 and March 2024.
The court was told details of the alleged incidents, starting from the beginning of the defendant and victim’s relationship in 2023, including multiple documented accusations of the defendant assaulting her at her home.
One harrowing accusation made was in April of 2023, when after being assaulted, the victim attempted to flee in their car, when the defendant grabbed her by the hair and proceeded to assault her on the ground.
The victim then attempted to enter the car by the passenger side door, when Elliffe is alleged to have followed her and grabbed the victim by the hair again and continued the assault.
The victim claims that on this occasion the assault continued for two hours before she finally left the property.
The court heard that the victim was reluctant to call the police initially, due to fears of the defendant’s reaction, and instead sought refuge in Women’s Aid.
The charity sought a non-molestation order on the victims behalf on November 12, however by January 7, 2024, the victim claimed to have received ‘hundreds’ of texts from the accused.
The victim added that on ten to twelve occasions, the defendant had arrived to her address at night, knocking on her doors and windows pleading to get back together.
On March 11, the victim came forward to the police and made a statement of the allegations, citing a diary she had kept from when the offences started a year prior.
Elliffe was arrested on March 18 and at interview denied all the allegations except for breaching the non-molestation order on one occasion when he texted the victim whilst intoxicated.
He claimed that the victim ‘ruined his life’ and counter claimed that another person had been using his phone on another occasion to text the victim.
The police objected to bail on the grounds that Elliffe was likely to interfere with witnesses, having texted the victim to withdraw their statement, and could fail to surrender to police.
The police added his address was not suitable, having attended and noting the property as ‘derelict’, with a ‘run down caravan’ as his house.
Defence solicitor Jane McDermott told the court that Elliffe showed ‘remorse’ and claimed to have been under the influence of alcohol when the texts were sent.
She added that Elliffe told her he would adhere to any conditions put forth and would remain at his own address.
However, Deputy District Judge Peter Prenter refused the bail due to the risk of further offending, citing the charges as ‘serious allegations over quite a period of time’.
Elliffe will appear before Enniskillen Magistrates Court again on April 15 via videolink

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