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Trial of councillor accused of assault on female police office adjourned due to Covid-19 crisis

Henry Reilly had been due to go on trial at Newry

The trial of an independent councillor accused of twice assaulting a female police officer was adjourned on Wednesday due to the Covid-19 crisis.

Henry Reilly (61) was due to go on trial at Newry Magistrates’ Court, sitting in Lisburn.

But court business has been decimated due to the ongoing pandemic, with the Lord Chief Justice ordering that only essential cases, such as bail applications and sentencing hearings where a defendant has already served the likely term, should proceed.

As well as being charged with two counts of assaulting the female officer on 30 September last year, Reilly is also charged with resisting the female constable, resisting a male constable and causing criminal damage to a police radio and earpiece on the same date.

In line with guidance from the Lord Chief Justice, the accused, from the Ballynahatten Road in Kilkeel, and who sits in Newry, Mourne and Down District Council as an independent councillor, did not attend the brief mention where a prosecuting lawyer told the court “obviously the case cannot process today”.

District Judge Amanda Brady relisted the case on 10 June.

Although he now sits as an independent, Reilly has previously served on the council as a member of the UUP, the DUP and most recently UKIP, but had to resign from the party as his job with a charity did not allow him to align with any political party.

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