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Newry man to stand trial for allegedly biting solicitor on the head

A Newry man has been ordered to stand trial accused of wounding a solicitor after he allegedly bit him on the forehead.

Appearing at Newry Magistrates’ Court by video link from prison today), 33-year-old Paudraig O’Hagan confirmed he was aware of the five charges against him, all alleged to have been committed on January 12, this year.

O’Hagan, with an address at Chestnut Grove in Newry, is accused of wounding the solicitor, stealing his car keys, damaging the wing mirror of his Toyota Auris car and two counts of assaulting police officers.

Although the facts were not opened, a previous court heard how the well-respected solicitor was bitten on the forehead amid attempts to prevent him from leaving work in his car in Newry city centre.

The alleged victim was sitting in his vehicle at Church Avenue when O’Hagan, whom he did not know, opened the door, declared that he wasn’t going to let him drive, and took the keys from the ignition.

Having grabbed the solicitor’s legs in a bid to remove his shoes before the two men began to grapple, “the injured party alleged that he was then bitten on the forehead,” said the lawyer, adding that O’Hagan allegedly struck the window of the car several times, kicked off a wing mirror and threw files and a laptop on the ground.

Police called to the scene found the victim bleeding from a bite mark to the forehead and when O’Hagan was arrested, he allegedly spat on one officer’s face and bit another constable on the leg, leaving a visible mark.

In court, a prosecuting lawyer submitted there was a prima facie case against O’Hagan which was conceded by defence counsel Damien Halleron.

The court clerk told the defendant that although not obliged to, he had the right to comment on the charges and to call evidence to court on his own behalf, but O’Hagan declined.

Returning the case to Newry Crown Court for trial, District Judge Eamon King scheduled the arraignment to be heard on August 31.

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