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Court

Teenager accused of punching girl who refused sex

A Newtownbutler teenager re-admitted to strict bail less than two weeks ago, is back in custody after breaching his curfew and in the process, arrested for knife and drugs possession in County Cavan.
Brandon Gillen (19) of Main Street ended up arrested in Belturbet for alleged knife and drugs possession during the “escapade”. He was taken to Monaghan Garda Station from where he claims to have walked to Fermanagh on release, which a defence lawyer argued amounted to “extenuating circumstances” in the bail breach.
Gillen was brought before Dungannon Magistrates Court today (Friday) after the breach on September 4, although was not located until 10.30am the next day.
He was already on bail for offences heard at court on August 19, but just four days later was involved in an alleged altercation. In that instance police received an emergency call on August 26 to an incident involving a female. She was socialising with Gillen who allegedly “propositioned her for sex”, but she refused.
He attempted to kiss her but when pushed away, punched her.
Despite police objections, the judge on that occasion agreed to bail which was set at £500 with a curfew from 8pm to 8am and refrain from alcohol and drugs.
The judge notably warned, “He’s getting no more chances.”
But less than a fortnight later, Gillen was back in the dock where police again opposed bail, because aside from the curfew breach, there are now charges in County Cavan.
He was arrested by Garda in Belturbet after travelling in the passenger seat of a car which previously failed to stop for police in Newtownbutler at 9.30pm.
He and the driver – named in court only as ‘Millar’ were taken to Monaghan Garda Station, where Gillen was charged with knife and drugs possession. He is to appear at Clones Circuit Court on these matters next month.
While released just before 1am on September 5, it would be some 10 hours later before he arrived back in Newtownbutler.
District Judge John Meehan remarked, “This man has a growing record. There are previous matters for which he is on bail, both in close proximity to each other, then this escapade across the border.”
The defence outlined a complicated explanation on the bail breach, arguing his client could again be released.
Gillen maintained he was walking home around 7.30pm in time for his curfew. Millar pulled alongside in a car and asked if he wanted a lift which Gillen accepted.
On approaching the house, it is claimed Millar observed police officers and “Took off at great speed. He wouldn’t let my client out.”
The pair travelled on to Clones and then to Millar’s home in Belturbet.
Gillen claims he couldn’t find his phone and returned to the car to look for it.
Millar said “Bring in my knife and tablets too” and on lifting these, Gillen contends Garda detected him. On release the defence said Gillen “Walked home from Monaghan to Newtownbutler.”
But Judge Meehan rejected the application, stating, “The risk of reoffending is high. The defendant is on bail, released again after a breach with alleged further offending and then heads out of the jurisdiction, resulting in charges involving a knife and drugs. There is continued intensity of offending.” Gillen will appear by video-link at Enniskillen Magistrates Court later this month.

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