Ballymena Court hears a claim that man ‘hid in bushes’ near ex-wife’s home

BALLYMENA Magistrates Court has heard that a man was allegedly seen hiding “in bushes” near his ex-wife’s home in Kells in breach of a Non-Molestation Order.

Barry Laverty (28), with an address listed as Moat Road in Ballymena, has admitted a charge of breaching a Non-Molestation Order which prevented him from being within 200 metres of his ex-partner’s home.

A prosecutor said a woman visiting the address in Kells on June 15 this year observed the defendant making his way in the direction of the property and was aware there was a Non-Molestation Order in force “and then she saw him hide in the bushes as she approached”.

A defence solicitor for the defendant, who has 31 previous convictions, had no intention of going “next or near” the house and was “taken somewhat aback” by the allegation that he was “hiding”.

The lawyer said Laverty was actually in the area as he had a job repairing phones and had arranged to meet a customer in that area.

The solicitor said the defendant accepts he was in the exclusion “zone” but never went to the premises and the only reason his ex-wife knew about it was when his presence was brought to her attention.

District Judge Nigel Broderick said he would give the defendant “the benefit of the doubt this time” and fined him £100.

However he warned the defendant if he breached a Court Order again he would not be “so lenient” the next time.

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