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Man who had attempted murder charge reduced to common assault granted bail

A Co Armagh man who saw an attempted murder charge reduced to one of common assault has been granted bail.

A judge told the 30-year-old: “If I even think that you breached this bail you will be going back in Maghaberry”.

Joseph Paul McKenna, of Dingwell Park, Lurgan appeared charged with the lesser offence at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Friday.

The defendant appeared for the purpose of a bail application with District Judge Bernie Kelly passing comment on the reduction of the charges being in McKenna’s favour.

A constable said bail was objected to because of the defendant’s likelihood to commit further offences which had been carried out in a domestic setting.

Court heard the preferred address was that of McKenna’s sister’s home in Gilford just six miles away from the injured party’s house.

Judge Kelly stated: “If I keep him in Gilford, then is there no objection”.

The constable added that McKenna had previously been given a caution in 2013 and a suspended sentence in 2015 for similar offences.

Judge Kelly commented: “This man has been in custody since June 18; I know what sentence he is likely to receive.

“He has served a considerable amount of time in prison and I can’t keep him on remand”.

Defence counsel also informed the court that there was no witness statement in the case and the only evidence was a phone call made by the defendant.

Judge Kelly warned McKenna: “If I even think that you breached this bail you will be going back in Maghaberry”.

The defendant was granted his own bail of £500 subject to him not leaving the village of Gilford, marked by the 40mph speed limit, except for attending court.

McKenna was also handed bans on alcohol and the use of telecommunication devices. He was also told not to contact the injured party.

He is also to abide by a curfew between the hours of 8pm and 6am.

The case will return to court on October 19.

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