Letterkenny court house.
A 27-year-old man has been denied bail after being handed over to Gardai by the PSNI this week.
John Paul Reilly fled Donegal after being granted High Court bail in 2019, but was this week surrendered to Gardai.
At Letterkenny District Court, Judge Deirdre Gearty refused a bail application for Reilly, who has an address at Railway Avenue, Killygordon.
Reilly was handed over to Gardaí by colleagues from the PSNI at Lifford on Monday, April 25, at 12.05 on foot of a European arrest warrant.
Arresting Garda Cathriona Flynn gave evidence of arresting Reilly, who made no reply.
Reilly was further charged while in custody and again made no reply.
Reilly is charged with producing an article capable of inflicting serious injury, to wit, a hammer, during the course of a dispute/fight at Lower Main Street, Letterkenny, on April 14, 2019. He is charged with possession of the hammer, intended to be used unlawfully to cause injury to a person, to be used to inflict harm on another during the course of a violent assault.
On the same date, Reilly is charged with making off without payment with the intention of avoiding payment for services obtained to the value of €7.80.
Reilly is also charged with a theft from a house at Ard McCool, Stranorlar, on December 12, 2018. On the same date, also at Ard McCool, Stranorlar, he is charged with unlawfully using a mechanically propelled vehicle without the consent of the owner.
Garda Flynn said Gardaí were objecting to bail.
Garda Flynn said that Reilly was identified on CCTV leaving the scene where a discarded item, a hammer, was seized by Gardaí.
There were ten previous bench warrants, between July 2012 and February 2019, in existence. Garda Flynn said that there err concerns that Reilly would not appear for trial and could put pressure on an alleged injured party to withdraw a complaint.
Garda Flynn outlined that Reilly exited a vehicle at Leterkenny Garda Station in May 2019 and fled on foot.
On July 24, 2019, Reilly was located in an attic of a house at Ashfield in Letterkenny when Gardaí entered having observed him in the premises.
Granted High Court bail in August 2019, Reilly left the jurisdiction.
“John Paul Reilly has been trying to avoid the Gardaí at all costs,” Garda Flynn said.
Sergeant Jim Collins said that the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has directed trial on indictment.
Garda Flynn told the court that a book of evidence would be ready for service once new charges were added.
Garda Flynn said that she had ‘extreme difficulty in locating John Paul Reilly’ having made ‘numerous attempts’ to contact him at an address in Killygordon and his partner had denied being in a relationship with the accused.
Reilly’s partner was called to the stand. She said her own father had recently suffered a triple bypass and Reilly was the ‘main carer’ for her and her young sons. She denied knowledge of the warrants for Reilly, telling Judge Gearty: “I have so much going on in my own life.” She said the absence of Reilly from her home would mean ‘severe stress;.
Solicitor for Reilly, Mr Rory O’Brien, asked the court to consider the ‘circumstances that befell’ his client’s family. The defendant, whose father was also present in court, is the father of two boys, aged 17 moths and six months.
He said that Reilly’s voluntary surrender was ‘critical’ and asked the court to set conditions to allow the family to remain together.
Opposing bail, Sergeant Collins said the matters were ‘very serious’ and would be going forward on indictment.
“He has a history of warrants and he should be remanded in custody,” Sergeant Collins said.
Judge Gearty said she was refusing bail given the seriousness of the charges. Reilly, Judge Gearty said, was ‘clearly a flight risk’ and the strength of the evidence presented in the case was another reason for declining bail, adding that Reilly had previously not answered High Court bail.
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