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Man appears in court charged in connection with 'viral video' assault on woman

CourtsBy Morgan Flanagan Creagh
Desmond Hughes
Desmond Hughes

A man who was allegedly caught on video assaulting a woman has been refused bail and remanded in custody to Castlerae Prison.

24-year-old Desmond Hughes, with an address at Bruce Manor, Arva, was in Garda custody when he appeared before Cavan District Court.

A scuffle broke out in court upon his arrival which prompted Judge Denis McLoughlin to rise from the bench as the gardai forcibly removed a man from the courtroom.

Hughes is charged with assaulting Sarah Tierney at Bruce Manor on the 31st of May.

He is also charged with producing an axe during the course of a fight on the same occasion and with the theft of a TV worth €400 from the A&E Department of Cavan General Hospital on June 1st, according to the Anglo-Celt newspaper. 

The court heard that footage had appeared on social media allegedly showing the defendant assaulting Ms Tierney.

Gardai said they had ”serious concerns” that if granted bail Hughes would “interfere” with witnesses or injured parties in the case.

Inspector Pat O’Connell told the court that the defendant had two bench warrants previously issued against him, in July 2012 and August 2015 for failing to appear to answer charges against him.

He said gardai feared for the safety of the witnesses.

Solicitor for the defendant pointed out that these were allegations.

“Nothing has been proven,” he said, adding that Mr Hughes wished to make his own statement in relation to the matter.

Judge McHughes remanded Hughes in custody to reappear in court on the 17th of June.