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Portadown man accused of arson attack on Halifax branch has case sent to Crown Court

Fire at the Halifax branch in Portadown

A Co Armagh man accused of setting fire to the – now former – Halifax branch in Portadown has had his case sent to the Crown Court.

Patrick John Brennan appeared at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday charged with three offences stemming from the incident on February 6, this year.

The 54-year-old, from Ballyoran Park, Portadown faces charges of arson being reckless as to whether life would be endangered, arson and having articles, namely a sledgehammer and petrol canister, intending to cause damage.

None of the alleged facts giving rise to the charges were opened in court.

However, it was reported at the time that police and fire crews were called shortly after 8.40pm that evening, after the ATM was damaged with a sledgehammer before liquid was poured on the front of the building and set on fire.

During a brief preliminary enquiry, the legal step necessary to elevate any case to the Crown court, a prosecuting lawyer submitted there was a prima facie case against Brennan, which was conceded by his defence solicitor.

District Judge Michael Ranaghan adjourned the case which will be next heard in Craigavon Crown Court on June 11, when Brennan will enter his plea.

Read more: Halifax Portadown closed permanently following fire – despite initial hopes of reopening

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