Published Saturday, 26 October 2013
Michael McCambley, 46, appeared in court on Saturday. (© UTV)
Appearing in the dock of Belfast Magistrates Court in a check shirt and trousers, 46-year-old slightly built Michael McCambley spoke only to confirm that he understood the 14 charges against him.
McCambley, with an address at The Mount in the east of the city, is accused of the attempted murder of his ex-partner Brianan Cox on 15 September.
He is further charged that on the same date, he wounded his alleged victim, caused her actual bodily harm, made a threat to kill her and assaulted her.
McCambley also faces further charges of assault, making threats to kill, false imprisonment and three counts of possessing a weapon, namely a knife, with intent to cause Ms Cox grievous bodily harm, all alleged to have occurred on date between 1 February last year and 29 September this year.
Constable Gamble told the court that he believed he could connect McCambley to the charges and in objecting to his release on bail, said police feared that if released, McCambley would either interfere with the witness or "go back and carry on this abuse".
The officer described how, according to the police case, the attempted murder related to an allegation that McCambley "throttled" his partner with his hands around her throat until she lost consciousness and claimed that alleged abuse "has been ongoing for a considerable period of time".
He told the court that police had been called to the matrimonial home on 29 September and had noted the alleged victim's arm was in a cast - but at that stage, she was "too upset" to make any complaint and, instead, wanted officers to remove McCambley.
No statement of complaint was made until two weeks ago, the court heard, when she wrote out a 15-page statement outlining how she had allegedly suffered abuse over a three year period.
Solicitor John Finucane submitted that McCambley had answered each and every one of the police questions during a series of interviews when he himself claimed he had also been the victim of domestic abuse.
He lambasted the police case as "a farce" given that for two weeks, the police had a statement claiming he was a would-be killer - but had done nothing about it until they phoned McCambley to invite him in for questioning and revealed that he will be referring the case handling to the Police Ombudsman.
Mr Finucane suggested the court might look to the alleged victim's conduct from the date of the alleged attempted murder in that she was contacting him by phone and text message, and "takes him back into the house".
District Judge Harry McKibben told the solicitor, however, that such behaviour "is not uncommon" because it takes victims of abuse "so much courage" to come forward.
The judge said he was only persuaded to grant bail because "it's not the strongest case as it stands at the moment."
As well as barring McCambley from Belfast, the judge also barred him from having any contact "in any shape, form or fashion" with the alleged victim and ordered him to report to police three times per week.
McCambley will be back before the court on 22 November.
© UTV News