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Prisoner breached restraining order whilst in Maghaberry by making phone call to ex-partner

He borrowed another prisoner's phone to make the call

Armagh Courthouse

A man breached a restraining order whilst in Maghaberry after calling his on again, off again, partner from a fellow prisoner’s phone.

The 28-year-old’s barrister told court: “They seem to be together at the moment. They have two children together. This has been a toxic relationship and whilst inside he contacted her.”

Craig Johnston, whose address was given as HMP Maghaberry, pleaded guilty to breaching a restraining order at Armagh Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday.

Prosecution outlined that in May, police were contacted by the injured party who claimed to have received a call from her ex-partner, who was a remand prisoner in Maghaberry.

She informed police that there was a restraining order in place which forbade Johnston from contacting her.

Officers contacted the security department of the prison. They said the defendant was currently subject to disciplinary measures as he was caught using another prisoner’s phone to make a call.

The recording of this call was forwarded to the police.

Deputy District Judge Peter Prenter commented that this offence predated other breaches on Johnston’s record.

Defence barrister Conor Lunny stated: “The complainant and the defendant have been in a relationship for 10 years. The restraining order has since been reduced to must not pester and harass her.

“They seem to be together at the moment. They have two children together. This has been a toxic relationship and whilst inside he contacted her.”

He added: “Johnston would say he has been punished already, for 35 days he lost his TV, his phone, visits and his earnings.

“He does have other charges pending but there is nothing of this nature.”

Johnston was handed a conditional discharge for two years.

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