A man who was arrested in possession of an axe and a kitchen knife has appeared before Fermanagh Magistrates Court charged with a series of offences related to domestic violence.

Robert Bruce, 36, with an address of Killyvilly Estate Enniskillen, was refused bail after District Judge Michael Ranaghan said that the injured party was “lucky that she was not killed” during an alleged incident on Sunday September 14.

The court heard from police who said they arrested Bruce in a play park close to his home in possession of an axe and a kitchen knife.

Police told the court that on the night in question the injured party explained that she and Bruce were cooking dinner in their home and that the defendant had been “drinking whiskey all day”.

The court heard that Bruce allegedly berated the injured party for her cooking and followed her to the utility room with a chair which he used to pin her against the wall.

The alleged attack was said to continue into the kitchen and upstairs to a bedroom where the defendant is said to have again used the chair, twisting it against the victim and choking her as she lay on the bed.

Police went on to say that the injured party escaped the house due to the intoxication of Bruce and drove away but that she returned as her seven-year-old son was sleeping in an upstairs bedroom.

Police informed the court that upon her return Bruce proceeded to punch the injured party who following this alleged assault got back into the van she was driving and locked the door.

It was at this point that police alleged the defendant “tapped the window with an axe”. When the injured party got out of the van it was alleged that Bruce “swung the axe at” her. The injured party then escaped to a neighbour’s house where the police were phoned.

Police on arrival found the defendant in a local play park where he had in his possession an axe and a kitchen knife.

Police told the court that the injured party said that she had “suffered years of domestic abuse” but that this was the first time that Bruce had “used a weapon”.

Police were opposing bail

Defence solicitor, Bernard Corrigan, in questioning the police asked had there been any previous reporting of any domestic abuse to which the police officer answered that there had not been.

Mr. Corrigan went on to say that the bail address provided for his client was at the “opposite end of Enniskillen, 3.3miles away from the matrimonial home”.

He told the court that Bruce was “suitable” for bail and that “conditions could be put in place” to address any police concerns.

Mr. Corrigan explained that Bruce was the sole bread winner in the family and that it seemed that it would be a significant period of time before the case would be heard.

In passing judgement, Mr. Ranaghan stated that “due to the nature of the alleged offences” and the fact that he felt there was a risk of reoffending he would not be granting bail. He said that the injured party was “lucky that she was not killed” from the alleged attack.

Bruce is charged with two counts of possessing an offensive weapon, namely an axe and a kitchen knife, false imprisonment, common assault, attempting to choke and criminal damage.

He will appear before the court again on October 14 although Mr. Ranaghan stated that Bruce could appeal the decision to refuse bail to the High Court.