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Lurgan man who evaded police for three months refused bail

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A Lurgan man who evaded police for three months has been refused bail.

Court heard that the 29-year-old had previously been subject to seven bench warrants, and whilst on bail in 2018, breached his electronic tag three times.

Christopher Wright, of Mark Court, appeared charged with breach of a non-molestation order, two counts of threats to kill and criminal damage at Craigavon Magistrates’ on Friday, via videolink from Maghaberry.

These offences were alleged to have been accrued over two separate incidents earlier this year.

The first in which Wright is accused to have made threats to kill and caused damage at the Bluestone unit at Craigavon Area Hospital on New Year’s Day.

On February 23, the defendant was also alleged to have breached a non-molestation order which referred to his ex-partner.

Wright appeared before the court for the purpose of a bail application which was being objected to.

A constable stated: “Mr Wright evaded police from March 8 until he was arrested in Downpatrick last week, he believed he has the means and ability to do this again.

“During that time he made contact with police through his solicitor to present himself to Banbridge Custody but he failed to do so.”

It was heard that previously seven bench warrants had been made in the defendant’s name and that on July 2018, he breached an electronic tag three times, whilst residing in a hostel in Armagh.

The constable also stated that the address which had been put forward was objected to due to fear of further offences.

The address in Lurgan Tarry was just a few doors down from home of the Wright’s grandparents and sister.

Since 2015, the defendant’s grandfather had to contact police on six occasions to remove Wright from his home due to his intoxication.

The constable said: “On October 28, his sister alleged that she had been assaulted by him but this complaint was later withdrawn”.

He added: “The address is also close to that of Mr Wrights’ ex-partner, since 2018 there have been 10 reported domestics and numerous breaches of NMO’s (non-molestation orders), the most recent in February this year”.

District Judge Stephen Keown commented: “There are a number of issues which have to be dealt with here.”

Defence solicitor Conor Downey asked the constable: “You have objected to the address due to its proximity to the grandparents’ house but have you spoke with them to get their view”.

The constable replied: “I have spoken to the grandmother to see if the sister is still living there but she did not offer an opinion.”

Mr Downey stated: “Mr Wright denies any involvement in any of the incidents, his non-appearance at court was born out of concerns for his life and health.

“He has mental health issues which he had been receiving assistance for at the Bluestone unit when the first offences were alleged to have occurred.”

Judge Keown commented: “In the guts of three months he made one feign attempt to make contact with the police”.

Mr Downey said: “He would accept a tag, would submit to a breathalyser upon request, would attend with police and would adhere to a strict curfew.

“As the constable pointed out in the past he has not abided by conditions but I will leave it to your worship.”

Judge Keown stated: “He was brought here by arrest not arrangement, he would still be at large if the police had not caught up with him.

“My view is that the bail address is clearly not suitable, but court is also not sure if he would attend and there are concerns that he would re-offend”.

Bail was refused, the case will return to court on June 28 for an update.

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