Man is jailed for probation breach


A three-month prison sentence was imposed on a 31-year-old man last Wednesday after he breached a probation order.

Tony Maher, Ballyoran Crescent, Portadown was also banned from driving for 12 months for traffic offences.

On July 9 police came across a car on fire on the Knockmenagh Road. It had driven through a roundabout and struck a traffic sign. Maher was found about 200 yards away and denied he had been driving the car. A breath test gave a reading of 84.

His solicitor said he had purchased the car that night and drove home with his girlfriend.

He added that the car crashed and went on fire. He got his girlfriend offside and was located a short distance from the vehicle.

The solicitor explained that Maher had the registration, which he had signed that night, in his pocket. He made full admission in an interview with police.

For driving with excess alcohol he was fined £400 and banned for 12 months while a similar fine and ban were imposed for not having insurance. He was fined £100 for not having a licence.

Maher also faced a charge of breaching a probation order.

At Craigavon court on July 1 he had received probation for a common assault offence and was made the subject of an order with the condition he attend the Integrated Domestic Abuse Programme.

It was claimed he breached the order by failing to comply by not attending appointments.

Maher’s solicitor said probation had asked for the matter to be deferred so he could re-engage with probation.

He explained that his client had been engaging well with probation when he was arrested for another matter, which is ongoing, and he lost his address.

The solicitor said Maher was now settled at a new bail address.

District Judge, Mrs Bernie Kelly, said the original offence was for an assault on a former partner.

The solicitor said it was a very disruptive relationship which was now over and Maher was in a new relationship and his current partner was in court with him.

He explained that there had been allegations back and forward between the two and the defendant had reported to police about being stabbed by his ex-partner.

Judge Kelly said that when Maher was released from custody he ‘went off the radar’ and nobody could find him.

She replaced the probation order with a sentence of three months immediate custody.

Later in the court the defendant’s solicitor applied for bail to appeal against the sentence, saying he now had a fixed bail address at Ardboe Drive in Lurgan.

Maher was released pending appeal on his own bail of £500 with the conditions that he is tagged, a curfew from 7.30pm to 6am, stay out of licensed premises, not to consume alcohol and not to have any contact with the injured party.