Man accused of banging on neighbour’s door claimed it must have been ‘debt collectors’

Ballymena Court

A man accused of banging on a neighbour’s door initially told police it must have been “debt collectors”.

However, Francis Kelly (32), with an address at Queen Street, Ballymena, eventually admitted causing criminal damage to a front door belonging to a woman on August 10 this year.

The defendant appeared at Ballymena Magistrates Court on Thursday via video link from Maghaberry Prison.

The court was told police were called following a report of a person “kicking” a front door and a short time later there was further banging on the door.

Police were told the occupant could hear the words ‘You are dead” being uttered and they recognised it as Kelly’s voice.

A defence barrister said Kelly had accidentally “scuffed” the door on the way past in the first instance and was then annoyed at what he felt was a “false allegation”.

The lawyer said Kelly, a digger driver originally from Donegal, would not be returning to the Ballymena address.

The barrister said Kelly had been “deeply affected” by the death of his partner in a road traffic collision “and this year he has gone off the rails”.

District Judge Nigel Broderick said the defendant had appeared in court in Ballymena in recent months and received a suspended sentence for another matter.

He activated that four months suspended sentence and added two months for the new offence, jailing the defendant for six months.

A two year Restraining Order was also imposed on Kelly banning him from having any contact with his former neighbour.

The defendant was released on £500 bail pending appeal.

He is to reside at an address approved by police and he is barred from Ballymena except for court, legal consultations, Probation visits or medical appointments.

He also has to report to police twice a week.

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