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Man involved in ‘street fight between two Romanian gentlemen’ jailed

Defendant freed on bail to appeal against jail sentence

A man involved in what his barrister described as “a street fight between two Romanian gentlemen” has been sentenced to three months in prison.

Catalin Balan, appeared before Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday for having breached a community-based order.

The court heard it had been put in place in September of last year for assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Defence barrister Aaron Thompson summed up the offence as “a street fight between two Romanian gentlemen”.

He conceded that District Judge Bernie Kelly “would not be empathetic about the breach” and had told his defendant “with ABH he had done well to get a community-based order”.

Mr Thompson explained the 28-year-old Balan had changed address and had not informed probation.

This, the court was informed, came to light when he attended the barrister’s office for another matter and it was noted he had not attended probation in almost a year.

Mr Thompson said his client was now more settled in Tandragee and worked full-time in a factory.

District Judge Bernie Kelly asked the defendant: “Do you remember me giving you this order and do you remember what I said would happen if you did not comply?”

The defendant was sentenced to three months in prison with District Judge Kelly adding: “You’re only given one chance to do these things.”

Mr Thompson lodged an appeal of the sentence and Balan was released on his own bail of £250 with the condition that he would not consume alcohol.

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