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Pregnant woman denies allegations partner punched her in face, abdomen | Illawarra Mercury


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A pregnant woman allegedly punched in the stomach by her partner turned up to court on Wednesday to support his bid for bail, claiming he did nothing wrong. Police allege neighbours saw Lake Illawarra man Jacob Kofe punch her repeatedly in the street on December 31. However, when police found her with a black eye and swollen lip, she said her injuries were caused by her 12-year-old sister, who she would not identify. Magistrate Michael O’Brien said he found that “difficult to believe”. Read more: Two deaths, 2169 positive cases of COVID for Illawarra Shoalhaven Kofe appeared via audio link, and asked if she was OK. “I just need you home,” she said. According to police Kofe and his partner were seen arguing loudly in the street over a mobile phone on December 31. Police say three witnesses saw Kofe punch her in the face and lower abdomen, before she fled, bleeding, to a neighbouring home for assistance. As the neighbour cleaned up the blood running down her legs Kofe allegedly stood outside yelling at the woman. The woman, who was 24 weeks’ pregnant at the time refused treatement from paramedics; they were unable to determine the welfare of the foetus and the woman’s current condition was not revealed in court. Police allege Kofe continued to yell “are you going with them, or coming home” while paramedics were there. She refused treatment, and went home with Kofe. When police arrived a short time later they observed the woman had a swollen black eye. Her lip was also discoloured and swollen. She told police the injuries were inflicted by her 12-year-old sister but would not provide any more information about her. Police arrested Kofe and charged him with assault occasioning actual bodily harm. In court on Wednesday, defence solicitor Caitlin Drabble said the woman maintained Kofe did not assault her, and did not support the police case. Police argued the risk to the alleged victim’s safety was too great if Kofe was released on bail. Magistrate O’Brien agreed. “The police facts can only be described as very serious,” he said. “An assault upon a pregnant woman, blood seen trailing down her legs; he has a history of violence and not complying with court orders. Bail is refused.” Kofe will return to court on July 30. The Illawarra Mercury newsroom is funded by our readers. You can subscribe to support our journalism here.

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