Woman's bail revoked after showing ‘complete contempt’ for the court

Derry courthouse

Derry courthouse at Bishop Street.

A judge has said he was left with no option but to remand a Derry woman in custody after she appeared in court on two consecutive days for breaching bail conditions.

Michaela Connors, 27, of the Strand Road, appeared in court on May 12 after breaching the conditions of her bail by meeting an alleged injured party.

She had been brought before the court day prior for a breach of bail and was given a final warning.

The defendant faces charges of grievous bodily harm with intent against William Stokes, theft, common assault and possession of Class A drug morphine.

Police attended after reports that William Stokes was at her address.  As part of her bail conditions Connors has been prohibited from having any contact with Stokes.

A Public Prosecution Service (PPS) representative said that when police arrived Connors told officers that nobody was with her.

The court heard that Stokes was located behind a bathroom door.

Objecting to bail, a police officer said it was the defendant’s tenth breach of bail and she has shown ‘complete disregard’ for the court.

She said Connors has been given ‘many opportunities’ and not taken them.  The PSNI officer believed that she would continue to commit further offences.

Citing previous offences, the officer explained that Connors ‘threatened police with a hammer’ on one occasion.

Probation services can no longer work with her, the court was told.

Defence solicitor Seamus Quigley asked if Stokes had withdrawn a statement of complaint in relation to the alleged serious assault.  In response, the officer said, ‘not to my knowledge’.

Mr Quigley accepted that his client was given a final warning on Tuesday.  He said Connors rang Stokes and invited him over.

“She has mental health issues and he is her only friend in the world.  Her mother died because of drugs.  Her sister died because of drugs,” the defence solicitor added.

Refusing bail, District Judge Barney McElholm said: “One might as well scrap the entire bail system if we’re not going to enforce it.  She has shown complete contempt for the court.

“I can’t do anything else.  I tried and she was warned yesterday.”

Bail was revoked and the defendant remanded in custody to appear in court by way of video link on May 27.

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