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Bail refused for Armagh man alleged to have rammed ex’s car and punched her in face

In objecting to bail a police officer cited a 'risk of reoffending' adding the defendant had 50 previous convictions including 20 for driving offences

A banned driver was refused bail on Thursday after a district judge heard claims he rammed his ex’s car and punched her in the face.

Remanding Joshua Burley into custody at Banbridge Magistrates’ Court, sitting in Lisburn, District Judge Mark McGarrity said he believed the risk of reoffending “cannot be addressed by bail conditions”.

Burley, from the Dundrum Road in Tassagh, appeared in court via videolink from police custody, speaking only to confirm that he understood the four charges against him.

The Co Armagh man is accused of common assault, driving dangerously in the Banbrook Hill area of Armagh city, driving while banned and without insurance, all alleged to have been committed on July 3 this year.

Giving evidence to the court, a police constable described how Burley’s ex-partner called police at 8.45pm that evening to report that Burley had approached her car and allegedly punched the driver’s window.

When she put it down to tell him to leave her alone, “he punched her in the face with a closed fist,” said the officer, adding that when the woman drove away, Burley followed her, but at a garage, he is alleged to have gotten out of his car again and was “shouting at her,” only stopping when she told him she was on the phone with police.

Before he drove away, however, Burley allegedly reversed into her car, the court heard.

The Tassagh man was not arrested until July 8 and during police interviews, gave a mainly “no comment” response to questions.

The officer said that with almost 50 previous convictions including 20 for driving offences, “police have concerns that there will be a risk of reoffending and a risk to this injured party.”

Despite submissions from defence counsel Conn O’Neill that Burley could be freed under strict bail conditions, District Judge McGarrity disagreed and remanded him into custody to appear again on August 3.

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