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Man requested for attempted hijacking in hospital car park

A CO Down man has been remanded into custody suspected of assaulting a doctor and trying to hijack her car from a hospital carpark.

Appearing at Newry Magistrates Court by video link from police custody, Bernard Ward (40) was charged with attempted hijacking and common assault of the woman on January 31.

Ward, from The Demesne in Newry, confirmed that he understood the charges.

Opposing an application for bail, a PSNI officer outlined how police were called just after 8.30pm on Monday following an incident in the car park at Daisy Hill Hospital.

Ward and another man were captured on CCTV “wandering around the car park” when the doctor got out of her car.

Someone shouted “nice car” and when she turned around, she was “punched twice in the face and forced to the ground”.

The pair could not get the keys from the doctor who sustained an injury to her wrist and bruising to her face and side having been “punched several times”.

Ward, said the officer, was arrested about 20 minutes after the incident and although he admitted it was him in the CCTV footage, he blamed the other man for the attack and denied any plan to hijack a car.

Under cross examination from defense solicitor John Rocks, the detective accepted the other man was the initial aggressor, revealing that despite Ward giving a false name for his alleged accomplice, another suspect is now in police custody for questioning.

Mr Rocks submitted that a “stringent package” of bail conditions could be put in place allowing Ward to be freed but District Judge Anne Marshall denied the application.

She adjusted the case to March 2.

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