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Man allegedly ‘tried to draw live fire from police’ whilst armed with imitation gun

Objecting to bail a police constable stated that the 52-year-old was a 'danger to the public' as well as himself

A Co Armagh man allegedly “tried to draw live fire from the police” whilst armed with an imitation gun, a court has heard.

Objecting to bail a police constable stated that the 52-year-old was a “danger to the public” as well as himself.

Christopher Toland, of Beechgrove Avenue, Aghagallon, appeared charged with common assault, possession of an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence and three counts of assaulting police officers at Banbridge Magistrates’, sitting at Lisburn, on Thursday, via videolink from police custody.

Defence solicitor Kevin McCamley informed the court that a bail application would be made on the defendant’s behalf.

It was outlined that the incident is alleged to have taken place at around 4pm on July 14.

A constable stated that police would “strongly object” to Toland being released on bail.

He said: “There’s a danger to the public. This was in a quiet residential area and he showed no consideration for his neighbours.”

The constable told court that the defendant had “tried to draw live fire from the police, not thinking of any crossfire”.

Concerns were also voiced about Toland’s own safety along with the possibility of witness interference.

Through cross-examining the officer, Mr McCamley revealed to the court that there had been “no physical battery” involved in the alleged assault on the member of the public.

He added: “I have not had the opportunity to see his record and antecedents. I am aware that he does have one previous for firearms but I am instructed that was over 10 years ago.”

District Judge Mark McGarrity commented that he had “concerns” regarding the defendant given his responses during interview.

He then remanded Toland into custody and adjourned the bail application for two weeks for further medical evidence to be proffered.

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