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Man accused of barging into injured party’s home and punching him to head and jaw

Armagh Magistrates Court

A Gilford man who is accused of punching another male to the face has been refused bail over concerns for his own safety and risk of further offences.

Refusing bail for the 25-year-old, the deputy district judge said: “This morning he was behaving in an inappropriate way during interview, his probation officer is concerned for his well being and I am not satisfied it is appropriate to release him on bail”.

Scott Foster, of High Street, appeared charged with criminal damage and common assault at Armagh Magistrates’, sitting at Newry, via videolink from police custody.

The defendant was connected to the charges by a constable, defence barrister Kevin Magill made no question to this connection and informed court an opposed bail application would be made on behalf of his client.

The constable outlined that on January 17 at 5.20pm, police received a report of an assault at an address on Mountview Park, Banbridge.

The injured party alleged that this defendant had come to his home shouting looking for his son, Foster is then alleged to have pushed into the property before punching the injured party to the head and jaw.

He is also accused of damaging the front door of the injured party’s home upon leaving.

On January 18, police arrested Foster at his home at this property suspected Class A and B substances were seized by police, he is currently on bail for these alleged offences.

The following morning, the defendant was interviewed and during this he is said to have shouted “no comment” throughout to police questions.

Outlining objections, the constable stated there was perceived to be a “high risk of re-offending”, with Foster having “relevant convictions” including 13 for criminal damage and seven for common assault.

She added that offending was believed to be “more prevalent” when the defendant was under the influence of drugs.

The constable commented there was also a fear for Foster’s own safety which had been voiced by his probation officer.

It was also outlined that the defendant had made told a custody sergeant that he intended harm himself or kill himself.

Defence barrister Magill informed court that Foster had been made subject to a probation order in the summer of last year by Belfast Magistrates’ court.

Through this, he said a number of “issues” had been identified regarding the defendant’s mental health and his previous drug use.

Mr Magill referenced comments made in a letter written by Foster’s mother in which she stated her son had “tried so hard to come off drugs” and was awaiting rehab.

The barrister stated that the defendant had remained abstinent for some time, having attended probation and other meetings with his mother, it was her view that sending Foster to prison would be “counter productive”.

He added: “He is now out of Banbridge which seems to have been a trigger in part of his offending in the past”.

Deputy District Judge Philip Mateer stated: “I appreciate that Mr Foster’s mother is trying to do what is best for him…… however, something made him go commit these offences on the 17th and he still hasn’t settled down.

“This morning he was behaving in an inappropriate way during interview, his probation officer is concerned for his well being and I am not satisfied it is appropriate to release him on bail”.

Foster was refused bail and his case was adjourned until February 11 sitting at Banbridge Magistrates’.

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