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Armagh man accused of breaking woman’s hand granted ‘final warning’ after bail breach

Court heard that on Boxing Day police were called to an alleged domestic incident at an address on Cusher Green, Mountnorris

An Armagh man who is alleged to have assaulted a female leaving her with a broken hand has been given a “final warning” after breaching both court and police bail.

Whilst the 37-year-old denied the latest breach, he accepted contacting the alleged injured party following his initial arrest over concern for a “suckling bitch”.

Caolin Francis McConnell, of Newtownhamilton Road, appeared at Newry Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday on foot of a bail breach via videolink from police custody.

The defendant is charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm and persistent improper use of public electronic communications to cause anxiety.

Outlining the background to the case, a constable told court that on Boxing Day police were called to an alleged domestic incident at an address on Cusher Green, Mountnorris.

Upon arrival, officers spoke to the alleged injured party who claimed she had been assaulted by the defendant.

She alleged that McConnell had grabbed her by the neck, placed his hands over her mouth and nose.

She further alleged that the defendant pushed his knee on her hand as it was on the ground.

The constable said the female had since claimed her hand had been broken but a medical was yet to be provided.

The constable stated that McConnell had been released on police bail following interview but had to be arrested after breaching conditions by texting the alleged injured party.

She outlined that after being released on court bail at Lisburn Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, the defendant had gone on to commit further breaches.

Defence solicitor Kevin McCamley stated that the latest breaches were to be contested.

The constable stated that following McConnell’s release on court bail, he had contacted the alleged injured party by telephone and had entered Mountnorris – which he was prohibited from doing – with his father to collect his van.

She said that police were objecting to the defendant’s release as he had shown a propensity to “continuously” breach bail.

Mr McCamley claimed that the phone call to the alleged injured party had been made from a public phone in Armagh and that McConnell’s father had provided a statement that his son had not called anyone.

The solicitor stated that he had asked police to see if the area is covered by CCTV. The constable said she was aware of the request but had not seen any footage.

Addressing the alleged breach of police bail, Mr McCamley asked the constable if police had inspected the messages which had been sent by his client.

She outlined that officers had sight of the messages which related to a female dog and some pups. The constable admitted that there was “nothing sinister” about the content but this was still deemed a breach of conditions.

Mr McCamley explained that McConnell had a “suckling bitch” at the address and had contacted the alleged injured party regarding this as a matter of “animal welfare”.

District Judge Eamon King stated that he was “satisfied” there had been a breach of bail but admitted McConnell on bail with a “final warning”.

The defendant was released on his own bail of £500. Conditions included that he have no contact with the alleged injured party by any means, he is not to enter Mountnorris, not to be on licenced premises and not to consume any drug or alcohol.

The case was adjourned to Armagh Magistrates’ Court, sitting at Newry, on January 18 for an update.

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