Businessman accused of assault on his wife

A Londonderry businessman has been charged with putting a kitchen knife to his wife's throat during an alleged incident in their home.

Louis Raphael McLoughlin, 54, restaurant owner, from Limavady Road, appeared handcuffed in police custody in the dock at the magistrates court.

He is charged with assaulting his wife, possessing a knife with intent to commit an offence, possessing a ladle with intent to commit an indictable offence, threatening to kill his wife and falsely imprisoning her.

The defendant is alleged to have committed the offences at their family home in the early hours of Saturday 2 June.

Opposing bail, a police officer told the court that the complainant had alleged there had been "a history of domestic abuse in the past which she has not reported".

He said the police were alerted to the alleged incident by Mrs McLoughlin's sister.

The officer said when the police arrived at the family's Limavady Road home they were unable to gain entry through the front door and had to force their way into the house through the back door.

Inside they met Mrs McLoughlin who was in a distressed condition. The police witness said the she had a small cut to her right hand and other bruises which she said had been inflicted on her by her husband.

She told the police that her husband of almost 30 years had carried out the alleged assaults on her for over an hour and that he also threatened to kill her on a number of occasions.

The officer said the complainant alleged that her husband had locked the doors of the house and had put the kitchen knife to her throat on a number of occasions. She told the police that she now feared for her life.

Applying for bail, solicitor Ciaran Harkin said his client only had previous convictions for motoring offences. He said the defendant had been drinking before the alleged incidents and he had been told by a forensic medical officer not to consume alcohol while on medication for heart problems.

Mr Harkin said the defendant was experiencing financial difficulties in relation to a bankruptcy and business failure. He said the defendant was both shocked and ashamed to find himself before the court and he added that the defendant had no memory of the alleged offences.

Mr McLoughlin was remanded him in custody for a video link hearing on 21 June.