A man who is accused of punching another male at Newry Courthouse and making threats to burn down his home has been refused bail.
The 38-year-old’s barrister told court that the alleged threats were “completely fabricated and utter nonsense”.
Owen Paul Maughan, of Creggan Park in Omagh, was charged with common assault, threats to damage property endangering life, threats to kill and possession of an offensive weapon in a public place at Newry Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.
Appearing via videolink from police custody, the defendant confirmed that he understood the charges and was connected to the same by a constable.
Defence barrister Kevin O’Hare made no question to the connection and informed court that a bail application, which was opposed, was being made on behalf of his client.
Outlining the background to the case, the constable stated that on September 14 police had observed Maughan, who was attending Newry Court for an unrelated matter, allegedly approach and punch the injured party twice in an unprovoked attack.
It was noted by officers that the defendant had been wearing a large ornamental pyramid ring at the time of the alleged assault.
The alleged injured party claimed that at 12.30am, the defendant and another male had called him.
He alleged that Maughan said that he was going to “do him in” at court and that he would be wearing a knuckle duster in the form of a ring.
The injured party further claimed that the defendant stated he would kill him “stone dead” and set fire to his home with his new child inside “so it’s dead”.
Through questioning of the constable, Mr O’Hare established that the alleged injured party had made no reports of the threats prior to the alleged incident at the courthouse.
He stated that due to bail conditions his client resided in Omagh and so could not have made a call to the alleged injured party with his alleged co-defendant.
Mr O’Hare commented how the alleged victim had then claimed this had been a “three party conference call”.
The barrister stated: “These threats are completely fabricated and utter nonsense.”
He submitted that Maughan could be released on bail, commenting that he had no need to be in Newry and had previously adhered to his bail.
Objecting to bail, the constable stated he believed that it had the potential to spiral into a “family feud”.
He said that Maughan had numerous offences of violence on his record of 77 convictions, including three for assault on police, one for common assault and one for manslaughter.
District Judge Eamon King stated: “All of this happened in a public area of a court of law.”
Refusing bail on the grounds of risk of further offences, Maughan was remanded in custody as his case was adjourned until October 13 for an update.
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