restraining order | 

Co Antrim ex-Marine flagged as ‘serial perpetrator of domestic violence’, court told

James Burns, who served two tours of Afghanistan, was only released from prison two days before Christmas

James Burns

Paul HigginsSunday World

A former Royal Marine turned “serial perpetrator of domestic violence” has been accused of breaching a restraining order.

A court was told the new partner of James Burns contacted his ex to announce her pregnancy and the pair began to argue.

It was claimed the breach occurred when the 30-year-old called his ex on Friday to “talk to her to get her back onside so she wouldn’t call police”.

He also allegedly sent a text message to his ex declaring “she shouldn’t have spoken to you like that, I shouldn’t have done what I done, f*** that, I still love you”.

A police officer told Ballymena Magistrates Court yesterday he objected to bail being granted.

“The victim has been deemed at high risk from the defendant and he has been flagged as a serial perpetrator of domestic violence,” said the officer.

​It was revealed Burns, who served two tours of Afghanistan, was only released from prison two days before Christmas.

A defence solicitor said Burns, from Portlee Walk in Antrim, “accepts the breach’’ of the restraining order, but claimed there were counter allegations made against his ex which are being investigated by police.

The restraining order, set to run to August next year, was imposed after Burns set fire to two cars owned by his ex and her mother.

He phoned his former partner in February 2021 threatening her if she got him sent back to prison, warning he would “burn her out”.

Later that night she looked out and saw Burns approach her Seat Ibiza.

“He paused at the rear wheel, threw something using both hands and the vehicle immediately ignited,” a Crown lawyer said, adding that firefighters went to the scene but the car was gutted.

Minutes later he arrived at the home of the ex-partner’s mother in Greenisland and set fire to her Hyundai i10.

Burns admitted arson, threats to damage property, breaching a non-molestation order, and criminal damage to an electronic tag.

District Judge Oonagh Mullan yesterday freed Burns on bail with a condition not to contact his ex-partner.

And she issued a stark message to Burns: “I will not accept any excuses. This is your final warning.”

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