Northern Ireland

Man 'beat and smothered partner in Belfast murder bid'

A Belfast man has been remanded in custody charged with attempting to beat and then smother his partner to death.

Raymond Brownlee from Templemore Avenue is accused of the attempted murder of Elaine Hunter on 6 or 7 October.

A detective told the court that when he visited the victim in hospital, she had bruises on 70% of her body.

The officer who has served with the police for nine years added: "I have never seen anyone more bruised in my career, in fact in my life."

When questioned by a solicitor, the detective said that Mr Brownlee's claims his partner had beaten herself with a bottle of vodka would be "physically impossible" given the position of some of the bruises.

The officer also revealed that Mr Brownlee, 38, has a total of 129 previous convictions and that in the past number of months, there had been other allegations that he had attacked Ms Hunter but they were later withdrawn.

"We would contend that he tried to kill her and the only offence more serious than that is actually killing her," the detective said.

The district judge remanded the accused in custody until 5 November.

She said there was a "very real risk" of further offending and witness interference.