Published Friday, 03 August 2012
Mr Justic Gillen made the comments in court on Friday. (© UTV)
Mr Justice Gillen warned of tough prison sentences for those convicted of attacking their partners - even if the victims withdraw their complaints.
The message came as he refused bail to a man accused of beating his girlfriend about the head with a glass and then a bottle in two separate incidents within four days.
Paul Smith, 31, of Brookvale Avenue, Belfast, denies charges of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and common assault.
Prosecutors said police called to his flat on 27 June saw bruising and bloody cuts to his partner's face.
It was alleged that he hit the woman with a glass and a key, but she refused medical treatment.
Kate McKay, prosecuting, said police returned to their home on 1 July after a witness claimed Smith had repeatedly struck his partner over the head with a bottle.
Officers forced entry and found the accused sitting on a chair with a lot of blood on the floor, the court heard.
Following a search, the alleged victim was found asleep in bed. Mrs McKay said she was so covered in blood that her tracksuit was saturated down to her slippers.
The woman's lip was cut but she refused to tell police what had happened, insisting she was fine and just wanted to sleep, it was claimed.
Later, she was taken to hospital but left before the inside of her mouth could be stitched.
A defence barrister argued that the prosecution case was weakened by the woman withdrawing her original complaint.
He said she was not prepared to co-operate with police and had attended court to support Smith.
But Mr Justice Gillen held that there was a strong prima facie case against the accused based on other available evidence.
Refusing bail due to the risk of any further offending, the judge said: "Domestic violence is an absolute cancer in this community.
"Thugs who beat up women because they are defenceless receive extremely heavy sentences if they are convicted, and courts no longer necessarily need to rely on statements made by injured parties."