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Irate man accused of stealing from Tesco demands Judge to release him on bail

Craigavon Courthouse

A man accused of two thefts, who became irate with the Judge and demanded to be released on bail, has had his case adjourned in order to make a formal bail application.

Andrew McCandless, of no fixed abode, appeared before Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Friday, via video-link from Maghaberry.

The 29-year-old appeared before the court, without any representation from a solicitor, charged with two counts of theft.

It is alleged that on September 12 2022, the defendant stole Jim Beam alcohol to the value of £18 from Tesco in Portadown.

He is further accused on September 16 of stealing various groceries to the value of £8 from a Eurospar store.

The court heard that in relation to the first alleged theft incident, the full file is due on November 1, and for the second incident, the file is due on November 3.

District Judge Bernie Kelly stated that the both matters were to be adjourned to October 21.

At this point, McCandless stated: “I want to apply for bail today. I want out of this place. I am not guilty, they’ve made a mistake.”

When Judge Kelly attempted to reply, McCandless responded, “excuse me, can I speak?”

To which Judge Kelly replied calmly, “not until I’ve answered your first statement”.

“You can’t apply for bail just by saying I want to apply for bail today. The prosecution have to be put on notice.”

Judge Kelly then told McCandless that he needed to have an address approved by police before he could mount a bail application. If he had an approved address, the case could be adjourned to Monday to make a formal bail application. Without an address, the case could be adjourned to Friday.

“You can’t just announce on the day that you want to make a bail application,” Judge Kelly said, offering him two options to proceed.

McCandless – who was becoming more irate – stated: “Just to make things a little bit more simple, I am not guilty. They made a mistake here. I’m only out of prison on the 7th of September and they lifted me in the middle of town and accused me of two thefts.

“I don’t know what they’re talking about. I’m not guilty.”

When Judge Kelly told him that that was not how the system works, McCandless replied: “Well it would need to work somewhere different.”

When given the option again to have the case adjourned for a formal bail application on Monday or Friday, an irritated McCandless simply demanded “today.”

“I am not guilty and I want out of here. As soon as possible.”

The case was then adjourned and McCandless was remanded back into custody.

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