Man accused of breaking ex-partner’s jaw granted bail

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A man accused of breaking his ex-partner’s jaw and telling a female accomplice to hold her face so he could see what he was kicking has been granted High Court bail.

Scott McHugh allegedly forced his way into a house in Lisburn to launch an assault, during which the woman’s head was also struck against a toilet bowel.

Prosecutors claim the 30-year-old then phoned her two days later to say she would be murdered.

Agreeing to release McHugh from custody due to delays in the case, a judge banned him from contacting either the alleged victim or her parents.

Mr Justice Horner warned that any breach of the conditions will result in him being returned to prison until trial.

McHugh, of Chapel Hill Mews in Lisburn, denies charges of causing grievous bodily harm with intent, making threats to kill, witness intimidation and improper use of a telecommunication network in connection with two incidents last December.

During a previous hearing, a Crown lawyer said the victim had sustained fractures to her cheekbone and jaw, leaving her unable to eat solid food for six weeks.

McHugh has insisted that he wasn’t present when the injuries were inflicted on the woman.

Bail was granted after prosecution barrister Kate McKay conceded the case faces “substantial delays”.

Banning the accused from contacting the alleged victim or her parents, the judge also ordered him to abide by a curfew, tagging and report to police six times a week.

He told McHugh: “If you want to remain at liberty pending your trial make sure you observe these conditions rigorously.”