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Judge reluctantly grants bail to man stood charged of ‘very serious allegations’

Armagh Courthouse

A Dungannon man who was due to contest charges including common assault has been released on bail.

Court heard the 25-year-old had served the equivalent of a four-month prison sentence and that the trial did not go ahead due to the non-appearance of the alleged injured party.

Dominic Patrick McSorley, of Drumcoo Green, appeared charged with common assault, two counts of criminal damage, threats to damage property and intimidation of a witness at Armagh Magistrates’ on Monday.

District Judge Paul Copeland stated: “You have been rated as being high risk in terms of reoffending.

“You have multiple convictions for domestic violence and this matter includes harassment, along with intimidation of the complainant”.

He continued saying: “The police have canvassed in the past at multiple bail hearing against your release and this has been heard at the High Court also.”

It was further heard that the defendant had previously breached his bail on October 3 after breaking his curfew and being found to have consumed alcohol.

A constable stated: “The address that has been given is 10 miles from the injured party, but Mr McSorley had been residing there when the offences occurred”.

Judge Copeland commented: “I am trying to strike a balance here, but I am aware of your record”.

Defence barrister Michael Forde stated: “We have come to court anticipating that the contest would run today.

“My client has served the equivalent of a four-month sentence on remand and a new date is not likely to be set until the New Year”.

He added: “The police are well aware of Mr McSorley and his mother has shown she will contact police on him as she had done in the past”.

Judge Copeland said: “Given the way things have unfolded I find that it would be disproportionate that he should spend at least another month in custody.

“You are on bail for very serious allegations including witness intimidation”.

The defendant was released on the same terms of bail which he had previously been subject to including a curfew, an alcohol ban, tagging and reporting a Dungannon police station three times a week.

Judge Copeland warned McSorley: “Christmas is not an excuse for drinking as this had been linked to the offending.

“It is with some reluctance I am granting bail, if you breach any term you will be spending whatever time is required to set a new contest date in prison”.

The case will return to Armagh Magistrates’ on December 18.

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