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Court dismisses claim breaking non-molestation order was ‘mere technical breach’

Court told defendant went to injured party's car as he believed son was left alone in vehicle

A Craigavon man has been told “there is no such thing as a mere technical breach in cases of domestic violence”.

Cillian Toman, 32, of Churchill Park pleaded guilty to a breach of a non-molestation order at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.

The 32-year-old’s defence counsel described the offence as a “mere technical breach”.

But District Judge Bernie Kelly rebuffed this saying: “There is no such thing as a mere technical breach in cases of domestic violence.”

Defence counsel said the breach had lasted all of seven seconds, where the defendant had gone to the injured party’s car as he believed she had left their son in the vehicle.

She stated Toman had “thrown his hands up immediately” to the offence.

Court heard the defendant had three disorderly behaviour convictions on his record although these were of some vintage, with the last coming six years ago and the first being before a youth court.

Defence counsel accepted that there had been a previous breach of this order but on that occasion, Toman had been handed a conditional discharge.

She said that this had been an exchange of messages between the defendant and injured party.

However, it was found that these were not of a violent nature and that the injured party had returned them.

District Judge Kelly sentenced Toman to two years of probation.

She also invoked the conditional discharge in the form of a £200 fine which was ordered to be paid within eight weeks, along with the offender’s levy of £15.

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