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Man travelled from England to kidnap estranged pregnant wife in Bessbrook, court hears

A man accused of kidnapping his pregnant wife was remanded into custody today (Saturday).

Newry Magistrates’ Court heard claims that 35-year-old Edward Connors travelled to NI from England to allegedly kidnap his estranged wife on Thursday.

Connors, from the Hitchin Road, Arlesey in Bedfordshire, confirmed that he understood the two charges accusing him of kidnap and false imprisonment and given evidence, Detective Constable Smith said he believed he could connect the defendant to them.

The charges arise after the 20-year-old alleged victim was pulled “struggling” into a vehicle in the Carrick Vista area on Bessbrook and driven away just before 4.15pm on Thursday afternoon and the detective told the court the complainant, who is four months pregnant, “wants nothing to do” with Connors.

“He grabbed her, put her into the car and drove off for a period of time,” said the officer adding that according to the alleged victim, he wanted to take her to Dublin so they could go back to England together.

The complainant’s mother had witnessed the alleged kidnap and she had called police so there were checkpoints in the area and Connors was arrested at a local garage.

Outlining how the victim has been assessed by Bedford and Durham police as a high risk domestic violence victim, DC Smith revealed there was also a suggestion that Connors used “coercive control” over his wife in that he allegedly “controls her funds”.

There are also claims that Connors “lied about his age and the fact that he had children” before he got married.

The officer confirmed the bail objections were risk of flight, witness interference and further offences being committed, adding that while a bail address in Keady had been put forward, police still objected to him being freed.

The detective agreed with defence counsel Justin Byrne the complainant has not made a statement and also that her mother has indicted she wants to withdraw her statement but he told the lawyer police believe the complainant is reluctant to co-operate out of “fear of reprisals.”

Although Mr Byrne argued that Connors could be freed “but with strict conditions,” District Judge Amanda Brady disagreed.

Describing the offences as “very concerning,” she told the court “I unknown if I release him there’s a risk of reoffending so I’m not prepared to grant bail.”

Remanding Connors into custody, the judge adjourned the case to December 14.

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