Christmas Eve burglary and assault ‘unsettling’ – judge

AN Enniskillen man has appeared in court charged with breaking into a house on Christmas Eve, smashing two televisions and stealing property.
Brian Francis Paul Corrigan (37) from Derrylin Road is accused of entering the house as a trespasser, assaulting the female occupant and using disorderly behaviour. Offending is alleged to have occurred in the Trasna Way area of Lisnaskea.
A police officer told Strabane Magistrates Court the charges could be connected.
She explained around 3pm the injured party reported Corrigan had gained entry by pulling open and damaging a window.
He is then alleged to have destroyed two television and stolen a new X-Box, sandals and a speaker.
The damage and loss of items totalled around £1000.
After police left a second report was received that Corrigan had returned to the address, heavily intoxicated.
The injured party claimed he placed his hands around her neck then punched her nose and left ear, while, “Spitting and shouting obscenities.”
He then allegedly tried to kiss her.
Members of the injured party’s family managed to restrain him until police arrived.
Following arrest Corrigan admitted entering the house by the unlocked back door, smashing the televisions with his fist and taking the X-Box.
After being charged Corrigan was released on bail and ordered to have no contact with the injured party.
However on 29 December, the injured party told police Corrigan had been contacting her sister on social media asking for messages to be passed on his behalf. In one of these he said she would get the speaker back and another read, “Tell her to contact me and I’ll sort it out ….I’m sure we can sort something out.”
The injured party told police since the Christmas Eve incident she has been sleeping on the sofa as “She is too scared to sleep in her own bed in case he comes back.”
While there is no domestic relationship between Corrigan and the woman, the officer said, “It appears the defendant has a mindset that there is more between them than there is. The injured party doesn’t want anything to do with him. There are concerns as to his perception of their relationship.”
Bail was opposed with the officer contending on numerous previous occasions Corrigan has “Proven he is incapable of staying away from this woman. He has similar convictions of causing damage to her home, assaulting and intimidating her. He has breached bail by contacting her. Police feel bail is not effective in providing protection to the injured party, who has been subject to ongoing contact when she doesn’t want him anywhere near her.”
But a defence solicitor pointed out, “There are two sides to every story. The injured party has been interviewed for a complaint of theft made by my client …Whilst there’s an indication this lady doesn’t want any contact with my client, she travelled into Enniskillen to meet him and they socialised together the weekend before these allegations. There are also other communications between then which give a different slant to this scenario.”
Describing the details as “unsettling”, Deputy District Judge Laura Ievers set bail at £500 and banned Corrigan from entering Lisnaskea and have no contact directly or indirectly with the injured party.
The case will next be mentioned at Enniskillen Magistrates Court on 17 January.

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