Man has charges dismissed


A Coleraine man accused of causing criminal damage to a woman’s Renault Scenic car and sending a ‘menacing’ message via a public electronic communications network has had the charges dismissed.

Daniel James Heaton (29), of Laurelhill Gardens, was accused of committing the offences on December 15, 2017.

He had previously pleaded not guilty and the case was listed as a contest at Coleraine Magistrates Court on December 28, 2018.

The defendant was in court.

A prosecutor said the alleged witnesses were not in attendance and that they were aware the case was listed for that date.

A police officer said she had called out and advised witnesses to be present.

District Judge Liam McNally passed the case to allow the officer to phone the alleged witnesses.

The officer later told the court a woman said she was unable to come to court because of “child care issues” and another alleged witness said he was at work and had “forgot” the case was on.

The prosecution lawyer asked for an adjournment but defence solicitor John Murphy opposed the application.

Judge McNally noted the defendant had pleaded not guilty back in November and the matter had been fixed for a contest.

With the alleged witnesses not being present he dismissed the charges.

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