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24/09/2021

Longford assault accused fail in bid to get bail terms relaxed

Longford assault accused fail in bid to get bail terms relaxed

Three men accused of assaulting another man in Longford town last year have failed in their attempts to secure a relaxation of their bail conditions.

Michael Stokes (52), Patrick Stokes (24) and Ronan Stokes, all of Corboy, Edgeworthstown lodged applications to secure a loosening of their curfew conditions at last week's sitting of Longford District Court.

The trio appeared charged with assault causing harm to another man at Ballymahon Street, Longford on September 18 last year.

They are also facing charges of criminal damage three days later at 27 Lanna Aoibhinn, Longford which resulted in damage being caused to the front door and windows of a property.

Bríd Mimnagh, defending, said her clients were “very upset” at how no book of evidence had been served despite the matter having appeared back in April and May on the proviso a book was being prepared.

She said a curfew time from 9pm was unjust on her clients especially as Mr Stokes' Snr's brother had passed away recently at a time of night which meant he was in danger of breaking his curfew conditions.

Mr Stokes himself addressed the matter to insist the constraints put on him were too harsh.

“My brother died at 8:20pm and I had to be home for 9pm and then the Gardaí came at 10pm to see if I was there (home),” he said.

“I am not guilty of these charges and the gardaí know that.”

Sgt Mark Mahon, said the State would be strongly objecting to any modifications to the trio's bail terms and said gardaí would be acceptive in certain instances to using their discretion on compassionate grounds.

Mr Stokes, however, said he was becoming increasingly frustrated at how long the case was taking to be heard.

“This is going on a year now and you must be sick of looking at my face,” he told Judge Seamus Hughes.

In turning down the requests made by Mr Stokes and Ms Mimnagh, he invited the latter to make an application in writing to the court to have the accused men's bail conditions altered.

And, in adjourning the case until September 7, Judge Hughes said he would consider marking the case for peremptory against the State, meaning if that if there are no directions from the DPP on that occasion, he would consider striking out the matter.

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