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Man accused of punching fellow employee several times at workplace in Loughgall

He claimed defendant made a gesture to indicate that he would cut his throat before punching him six or seven times to the back of the head

A man who is accused of punching a fellow employee several times to the head has been granted bail subject to an address being approved by police.

Court heard that the 19-year-old is alleged to have committed the assault after a verbal argument broke out at his place of work in Loughgall.

Jose Alberto Rivera Cruz, of Thomas Street in Portadown, was charged with possession of an offensive weapon with intent to commit an indictable offence and common assault at Armagh Magistrates’ Court, sitting at Newry, on Tuesday.

Appearing via videolink from police custody, the defendant confirmed that he understood the charges and was connected to the same by a constable.

Defence solicitor Ruairi Gillen made no question to the connection and informed the court that a bail application was being made on behalf of his client.

Outlining the background, the constable stated the the charges arose from an incident at Hewitt Meats in Loughgall on August 16.

The injured party reported that a verbal argument broke out between himself and the defendant, a fellow member of staff, after he had asked him to do something.

He claimed that during this Cruz had made a gesture to indicate that he would cut his throat, before punching him six or seven times to the back of the head.

When located by police, the constable claimed that the defendant was found to have a seven inch knife concealed up his sleeve, however, this was contested by his solicitor.

Objecting to Cruz’ release, the constable stated that he had not been able to provide an address and had indicated he would return to his “home country”.

Mr Gillen commented that the defendant had not been represented during interview but had later been encouraged to get a solicitor.

He stated that Cruz would have been released on police bail if an address had been forthcoming and that one had now been provided to the police.

The constable said that a check would be required on the address prior to bail being approved.

Deputy District Judge Peter Prenter granted Cruz his own bail of £500 subject to an address approved by police, with conditions to have no contact with the alleged injured party and not to be within a one mile radius of Hewitt Meats.

The case was then adjourned until September 14 for an update on a full file.

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