Man attempted to intimidate woman from giving evidence against him in court – and then asked her for a hug

Ballymena Court

A man attempted to scare off a woman from attending court as a witness in a case he was involved in and then told her to give him a hug.

Anthony Dowds (23), of Millfield in Ballymena, was given a four months jail sentence at Ballymena Magistrates Court but was released on £500 bail pending appeal.

He had tried to intimidate a woman in August last year two days before a court case but District Judge Nigel Broderick told Thursday’s Court that to the woman’s “great credit” she had gone to court and Dowds had then pleaded guilty.

Regarding the intimidation incident the court heard the woman was a customer in a shop when she was approached by Dowds and he told her: “You will not be going to court”.

The court heard that at the time Dowds had been due in court in relation to a burglary.

A defence lawyer said the incident was at the “lower end” of the scale and there had been no “obvious threat” or no intimation of violence.

The lawyer said that the woman had said Dowds had told her to give him a hug during the incident which she said she did because she “didn’t know what to do”.

The lawyer added that Dowds actions “really does sound more like the ramblings of a drug-addled mind”.

Judge Broderick said the court took a “dim view of anyone who intimidates a witness”.

He said Dowds had been with two others and the defendant had followed the woman around the store and when she went out he stopped her.

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