Despite strong police objections, bail has been granted for a Fermanagh man accused of a horrific campaign of abuse against his ex-partner.

The defendant – who is aged in his thirties but cannot be named to protect the complainant’s identity – is charged with raping her on September 6, 2023, as well as stalking and harassing her from October 31, 2023, to January 8 this year.

It is further alleged from December 24, 2022 to January 8 this year, he pursued a course of abusive behaviour causing physical or psychological harm.

A detective constable told Dungannon Magistrates Court all charges could be connected.

He explained the complainant reported extensive domestic violence involving physical and emotional abuse by her ex-partner.

The relationship ended in 2019 when she realised his violence was endangering the lives of their children, and fled, keeping their whereabouts unknown.

He allegedly then “manipulated” her into contact with the children, but during a visit claimed to be unwell and was allowed to stay the night, but thereafter refused to leave.

Over time, he became more argumentative and controlling.

In one instance, after breaking her front teeth, he made her smile while he recorded her on his phone, mocking her appearance.

In September last year, she alleged he sexually assaulted her as she slept.

The court heard he told her she “would end up in a mental hospital. He persistently demanded to know why she wasn’t getting pregnant and told her to see a doctor in front of him to find out what was going on.”

This occurred in November, 2023, and became a turning point as the complainant contacted police and Social Services who removed the defendant from the property.

But he still constantly contacted her by phone and turned up outside her home at night trying to get in.

He texted, stating he would “hurt her, make her disappear and he will kill”.

She and the children spent Christmas with her sister, and during this time the defendant turned up, uninvited.

The sister refused to allow him in, but he continued to text.

On returning home, the complainant discovered the heating had been on continuously, and the parental controls on the television were changed.

She believed the defendant gained entry, which made her so fearful she contacted the police with a panic alarm, in case he was hiding in the attic.

Objecting to bail, the detective said: “The complainant has eventually found the strength to report the abuse.

“She has outlined horrific attacks, including being dragged by the hair, her head held underwater and beaten unconscious. She knew it was time to leave when he tried to strangle her in front of the children.

“He used coercive control and manipulation. He has threatened, mocked, abused and made her doubt herself. He poses a great risk to her if released.”

A defence barrister said his client: “Denies all allegations and paints a picture of a more harmonious relationship.

“But he adds she had told him she intended to ‘f*** his life up and make him want to kill himself’. He said that’s why she has made these allegations.”

District Judge Michael Ranaghan said: “Obviously there are two sides to every story. The defendant denies the allegations, and this court is simply tasked with managing whatever risk he poses and keeping these people apart.”

He granted bail for £300 with strict conditions including electronic tagging, a ban on contacting the complainant by any means, or entering the area of her home, and residence must be approved by police.

The case will be mentioned again at Enniskillen Magistrates Court next month.