Couple accused of slashing girl’s face granted bail


A couple accused of slashing a woman’s face in a hate crime attack for being in a relationship with their teenage daughter have been granted High Court bail.

They are to be released from custody after a judge was told the stab victim has withdrawn her statement of complaint.

A prosecution barrister accepted her decision substantially weakens the case against the husband and wife for carrying out the knife attack on May 29.

The injured woman is expected to be permanently scarred from the wounds allegedly inflicted close to the police station in Lurgan.

She previously told detectives how she had been cut repeatedly after accepting she was to be punished at a meeting with the accused.

The couple, aged 43 and 44, face charges of causing grievous bodily harm with intent and possession of an offensive weapon.

They are not being named to protect the identity of their 16-year-old daughter.

It was claimed that the victim evaded the accused for three days after

learning they planned to harm her because of her relationship with their daughter.

She went to the police station in an attempt to find a safe place, but then left and met with the couple and a co-accused at a car park, the court heard.

Prosecution counsel Robin Steer said the woman claimed the husband and wife tried to pull her into a vehicle.

At that point the man allegedly urged his wife: “Cut the face off her or I’m going to do it.”

The female accused then produced a carpet knife and slashed the woman’s face several times, according to the prosecution case.

Mr Steer said the victim sustained severe lacerations across her cheek, with her wounds requiring stitching.

“She is obviously in fear of these people,” he continued.

“The prosecution case is this is a hate crime in terms of her sexuality and that she is in a same-sex relationship with (the couple’s) daughter.”

However, Mr Steer also confirmed the victim has now retracted her complaint.

“I have to accept, unfortunately, from the prosecution case, that does substantially weaken the case,” he said.

Mr Justice Maguire acknowledged the statement withdrawal “undermined” the criminal proceedings but stressed the couple still currently face charges.

Granting bail, he ordered them to put up £5,000 in cash sureties and banned them from any contact with the stab victim.