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Judge in puppy killing case says she has ‘never come across something as cruel’

The judge dealing with the case in which a man is accused of bludgeoning a defenceless puppy to death before putting it in a microwave says never in her life has she “come across something as cruel as what’s alleged”.

Kyle Keegan, 23, of Gilpins Manor, Lurgan, who is currently in custody at Maghaberry Prison, appeared before Craigavon Magistrates’ Court via video link for a bail application hearing.

Defence solicitor Gabriel Ingram stated that Keegan’s proposed bail address would be that of his home in Lurgan.

District Judge Bernie Kelly bluntly replied that there was “no way” that this would be deemed appropriate.

The prosecution opposed bail on the grounds that he could interfere with witnesses.

The defence explained that they had been attempting to acquire an address outside of Lurgan but one was not forthcoming.

A constable stated bail was not an option as Keegan could interfere with witnesses and was also putting his own safety at risk.

Court heard that many of the witnesses were within the defendant’s social group, in fact, one of them had messaged the dog’s owner to say that the puppy had run away.

According to the constable, there are three or four witness statements which are still outstanding.

Defence solicitor Ingram asked the constable what evidence they currently had on his client.

The constable replied by saying that forensic investigation was still ongoing, with the remains being sent to Edinburgh for special examination.

Judge Kelly also added that Facebook images were being sought after, informing the court that she had been sent them, by a friend, prior to knowing she was dealing with the case.

She told the defence that it clearly showed Keegan and it outraged her that such images were posted on social media as a “form of entertainment”.

Judge Kelly said the “nature of the case elevates any bail requirements” adding that “I can stop him from using social media and drinking but I can not stop him from being near animals”.

She even asked prosecution “is there any way I can move this to the High Court, I don’t want this case.”

Bail was rejected and Keegan is due to appear again on the 13th of April via video link.

Judge Kelly told defence they could appeal to the high court if they thought they would take a different view.

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