Brutal attack suspect denied bail
A remand prisoner whose wife is five months pregnant and being treated in the Royal Victoria Hospital for swelling on her brain has been refused compassionate bail by a district judge.
The application was made on behalf of Michael Mongan, a scrap dealer from White Rise in Dunmurry, south Belfast.
The 21-year-old is on remand in Maghaberry Prison on charges linked to an aggravated burglary of a house near Maghera last June when a 16-year-old suffered a fractured skull while protecting his grandmother from intruders.
A solicitor for Mongan told judge Barney McElholm that his client wanted compassionate release from prison to visit his sick wife.
He said the applicant's mother was willing to lodge £9,000 cash with the court and that she was willing to collect her son from prison and return him to custody after the hospital visit.
The solicitor said the £9,000 was money the applicant's mother had put aside for her daughter's wedding next April.
The application was opposed by a detective constable on the grounds of fear of flight and because he believed the applicant would interfere with witnesses.
Mr McElholm said while he had every sympathy with the applicant's wife, the applicant was a repeat offender with 69 previous convictions. He refused the application and the case was adjourned until October 17.
The aggravated robbery at an isolated bungalow at Mayogall Road in Knockcloghrim shocked and angered the quiet rural community.
Two masked men armed with a firearm forced their way into the family home just before 9pm.
The 16-year-old GCSE student, who was studying for his exams, was left critically ill after he stood up to the robbers to try an protect his family. He was forced to postpone taking his exams, but has since recovered
The teenager's 70-year-old grandmother and his 44-year old uncle were also attacked and were treated in hospital.
Police at the time described it as a “vicious and sustained attack” and vowed to catch those responsible.