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Man accused of drug, burglary and blade offences refused bail address with grandmother

The district judge asked: 'How is a 76-year-old woman expected to keep him on the straight and narrow? He could run rings around her'

A man accused of burgling a home in Dollingstown, making off with a car, will face Crown Court proceedings later this year.

The 25-year-old appeared at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Friday for the purposes of a preliminary enquiry (PE), the legal process during which a case is referred to the higher court.

Tiarnan Declan Scullion, whose address is given as Maghaberry, is charged with burglary, criminal damage, taking a vehicle without authority, possession of a bladed article in a public place and possession of Class B.

As these charges were read, it was heard that all of the offences are alleged to have occurred on October 20, of last year.

The defendant is accused of entering as a trespasser a house on Old House School Mews, Dollingstown, stealing cash, bank cards and car keys for a Volkswagon Polo, therein.

He is further alleged to have damaged an Audi A3 and to have taken a Volkswagen Golf without the permission of the owner.

The charges also named the alleged Class B substance as cannabis and the allegation relating to a bladed article was referred to as a lock knife.

Appearing via videolink from prison, Scullion made no objection to the holding of a preliminary enquiry.

Prosecution submitted that based on the papers before the court there was a prima facie case to answer.

Defence barrister Aaron Thompson made no contrary submissions.

District Judge Bernie Kelly, satisfied there was a prima facie case to answer, had the case listed for arraignment at Craigavon Crown Court on September 10.

Mr Thompson then informed the court that bail was sought for his client, who recently completed the custodial element of a Crown Court sentence.

Outlining the case, a constable stated on October 20 police received a report of a burglary in Dollingstown during which cash, bank cards and a Volkswagon Polo were stolen.

Officers later allegedly located this defendant with the vehicle in question in the car park of Lagan Valley Hospital.

Upon his arrest, Scullion was allegedly found to be in possession of suspected cannabis and a lock knife.

Prosecution stated that bail was being objected on the grounds of “fear of further offences”.

It was revealed that the defendant had 40 previous convictions, including four for burglary, eight for drugs, four for fraud and two for robbery.

Prosecution also told court that Scullion had 15 previous breaches of bail, four in the last year alone.

Mr Thompson submitted that upon release his client would remain on licence conditions and that he did not see the case “troubling” the Crown Court.

The barrister stated the proposed bail address was with Scullion’s grandmother in the Moyraverty area of Craigavon.

He told court that the defendant had a “hard” time in prison, this being his first stint in Maghaberry, including two assaults after being mistaken for being subject to charges of a sexual nature.

Mr Thompson stated that the Crown Court had been aware of this case and that Scullion now had a “strong motivation to behave himself”.

District Judge Kelly inquired as to the age of Scullion’s grandmother, and he confirmed via the videolink that she was 76.

She stated: “How is a 76-year-old woman expected to keep him on the straight and narrow? He could run rings around her.

“He knew he was awaiting sentence when he committed these identical offences….I would like to find him a suitable candidate for bail but there is just too much against him.”

Bail was refused and Scullion was remanded in custody to appear at Craigavon Crown Court on September 10 for arraignment.

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