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Woman attacked with knife over ‘cigarette debt’

A MAN accused of beating a woman with a knife close to Strathroy last week over an alleged debt for cigarettes has been denied bail.

The incident happened on Thursday morning, January 10, at around 8am when the woman was attacked close to the Post Office on Strathroy Road.

Kevin Barry Slattery (36) of Mullaghmore Drive, Omagh appeared at Enniskillen Magistrates Court on Monday having been arrested following the alleged incident on Thursday He is charged with robbery, possession of an offensive weapon with intent, namely a knife, threats to kill, and assault causing actual bodily harm.

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At 8.35am on January 10, police received a 999 call from the alleged victim at the Strathroy estate in Omagh.

She said Slattery had beaten her with the hilt of a knife. The woman who sustained cuts, later told police the incident arose as she owed him £100 for cigarettes she’d got from him before Christmas.

When Slattery was later arrested he made no reply at caution. In interview, he said he’d been in bed with his partner on Thursday morning. A police officer told the court they had been unable to reach his partner to confirm this alibi.

Slattery also said the woman did not owe him money, and he had not provided her with cigarettes.

Opposing bail, the police officer said Slattery, who has 263 previous convictions, had breached bail in the past a number of times, and evaded police for two years. He is currently subject to a bench warrant in the south, having been granted bail then failed to turn up at court in Donegal.

Slattery’s defence solicitor said his client would be denying the charges, and said the alleged incident had happened in a built up area at a time children would be going out to school. He added the knife allegedly used had not been found.

District Judge Michael Ranaghan said Slattery had relevant convictions, had a history of bail breach, and had been on the run for two years.
He said he agreed with police concerns that he may reoffend. Judge Ranaghan denied bail and remanded Slattery in custody. The case was adjourned to Omagh Magistrates Court on February 5.

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