Judge refuses to allow ‘concrete block’ assault accused to be released from prison to attend cousin’s wedding service

St Comgall's Church in Antrim.

A judge refused to allow a man to get out of prison on bail to attend his cousin’s wedding service which was due to be held today.

Jamie Kinley is on remand in custody on charges of robbery and grievous bodily harm with intent in connection with an incident when a man was struck on the head with a “concrete block”.

The defendant wanted to get out of jail to attend his cousin’s wedding service at St Comgall’s Church in Antrim today.

Kinley (20), of Mull Road, Antrim, has been in custody charged with robbing a man of £20 and assaulting him on October 6 last year.

Defence barrister Neil Moore told Ballymena Magistrates Court on Thursday the defendant had only been seeking to attend the religious service and not the reception and would be taken by his mother and then go back to Hydebank prison.

The defendant appeared via video link from Hydebank on Thursday.

A detective constable opposed the application saying he feared that if released Kinley could commit offences or interfere with the injured party who had been struck on the head with a concrete block.

The officer said that at the time of the attack, Kinley had attempted to give an alibi that he was at home with his mother but she had not confirmed it.

Mr Moore said the injured party lives in Toomebridge and he said the defendant could not re-offend at a “religious service” at St Comgall’s Church.

District Judge Nigel Broderick said he was not satisfied that attending a cousin’s wedding would constitute what would normally be regarded as “compassionate bail”.

He said Kinley faced “serious charges” and refused the application.

Kinley and two co-accused – Martin and Kevin Valliday – are charged in connection with an incident in Antrim.

Last year, a court heard a man suffered fractures to his nose and eye sockets and an attempt was made to bite part of his ear off during a “proposed drug deal gone wrong”.

The 21-year-old victim claimed he had contacted one of the accused via ‘Messenger’ to buy Ecstasy and went to a communal area at a block of flats at Barra Street in the Springfarm estate on the morning of Saturday October 6, Coleraine Magistrates Court was told.

Kinley and the Vallidays were each charged with robbing the victim of £20 cash and maliciously causing grievous bodily harm with intent.

Martin Valliday was further charged with possessing cannabis on the same date.
A police officer said she believed she could connect the defendants to the charges.

The Vallidays did not make any application for bail.

The police officer opposed a bail application by Kinley.

She said that at 10.25am on Saturday October 6 police received a report of a disturbance at a communal hallway at a block of flats at Barra Street.

When they got there they found blood and a broken beer bottle.

The injured man was in Antrim Area Hospital and he told officers he made contact with Martin Valliday through ‘Messenger’ wanting to buy the drug Ecstasy.

An arrangement was made to meet in Springfarm and when they met on the Saturday morning, the victim said Martin Valliday said he did not have the drugs on him.

Once inside the hallway, the victim said he was subjected to an “unprovoked and sustained” attack by three males and was repeatedly kicked and punched before having £20 taken from him by Kevin Valliday.

The man said he was hit on the back of the head with a beer bottle.

He said Kevin Valliday had bit him on the ear whilst saying: “I have nearly got it”.

The man told police Kinley hit him three times on the head with a brick before throwing it at him.

The police officer said the man suffered a number of cuts and required eight stitches to a head wound and stitches to an ear.

He had an eye injury and fractures to both eye sockets and nasal bone.

The police officer said that during interview Kinley denied knowing the injured party and denied being present, saying he was at home all day.

Defence barrister Aaron Thompson had told the court in Coleraine last year he believed the injured man had travelled from the Toome area.

“The allegation is that its a proposed drug deal done wrong,” said the lawyer.

He said Kinley denied being involved.

At Coleraine Court, District Judge Peter King had refused Kinley bail saying the allegation was of “gross violence in the context of a drugs transaction gone wrong”.

All three accused were remanded in custody at the time.

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