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Armagh man left mother ‘frightened and uneasy’ after breaching non-molestation order

Armagh Courthouse

An Armagh man who breached a non-molestation order taken out by his own mother stated he did not have the time to read and understand it, a court has heard.

James Toner, 47, of Corrigan Court, appeared at Armagh Magistrates’ on Tuesday charged with the breach on April 7.

The court heard that police were called to the defendant’s mother’s home in Bests Row, Armagh, as she told them her son was standing at her front door.

Officers arrived at the address and approached Toner who was still by the door.

The defendant made no reply when cautioned.

He was then taken in for questioning where he accepted the breach and confirmed the order had been served the previous day.

Toner went on to tell them he had not had the time to read it and did not fully understand the order.

District Judge Paul Copeland asked how the defence sought to mitigate this offence which had left the injured party “frightened and uneasy”.

Defence counsel stated the defendant accepted the breach.

It was heard that Toner previously lived with his mother and on this occasion had gone to the house “to collect some items of clothing”.

The defence added that the defendant had no relevant record and was apologetic, claiming he would “not step foot at the home again”.

Toner had previously worked in England as a joiner but worked “dried up” which was his reason for returning to Northern Ireland.

Judge Copeland commented it was clear from the defendant’s “frankness” that he “may not have completely understood the order”, adding that it had “probably taught you a lesson”.

Toner was given a chance to show he could “respect and obey” the non-molestation order by the judge who handed him a conditional discharge for two years.

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