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Man breached bail curfew by ‘attending Craigavon Area Hospital A&E with a head injury’

District judge said he was 'prepared to accept' the explanation and would 'give the defendant the benefit of the doubt'

Police PSNI Emergency Craigavon Hospital

A Portadown man who breached bail twice in the space of three weeks has been “the benefit of doubt” by a judge.

District Judge Nigel Broderick stated: “This is a warning, if he breaches bail again he faces serious charges which may not be dealt with for some time which could result in a long time spent in prison on remand.”

Declan Ward, of Garvaghy Park, appeared on foot of a breach of bail at Banbridge Magistrates’, sitting at Lisburn on Thursday, via videolink from police custody.

The 20-year-old faces charges including possession of a weapon with intent to commit an indictable offence, common assault, several criminal damage offences, possession of a blade in a public place, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and failing to answer bail.

Speaking at court, defence barrister Conor Coulter stated that the breach was accepted by his client.

A constable outlined that police had been contacted by G4S staff who claimed that Ward had breached his curfew on June 16.

She stated: “This is his second breach in three weeks. He breached bail on May 27 by contacting a witness and this led to a further charge of criminal damage.”

Bail was being objected to as there were fears the defendant would continue to breach bail and reoffend.

Mr Coulter explained: “On the night in question, Mr Ward had attended A&E at Craigavon Area Hospital – my instructing solicitor has confirmed this with his sister – for a head injury.

“He got out in the early hours and went to his mother’s house, he then returned home yesterday and then phoned G4S to inform them of the breach.”

District Judge Nigel Broderick stated: “Mr Coulter has proffered an explanation which I am prepared to accept. I will give the defendant the benefit of the doubt.

“But this is a warning, if he breaches bail again he faces serious charges which may not be dealt with for some time which could result in a long time spent in prison on remand.”

The case was adjourned until June 24.

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