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'Dog chewed electronic tag off' claim fails to sway judge

By Alan Erwin

Published 24/11/2015

An alleged burglar accused of removing his electronic ankle tag claimed it was chewed off by his dog, the High Court heard
An alleged burglar accused of removing his electronic ankle tag claimed it was chewed off by his dog, the High Court heard

An alleged burglar accused of removing his electronic ankle tag claimed it was chewed off by his dog, the High Court heard.

Jamie Toland said he woke up to find the animal gnawing at the monitoring device to get out for its morning walk, a judge was told.

But ruling that the 23-year-old must remain in custody, Mr Justice Maguire said any other outcome would "defy all the rules of logic and sense".

He added: "I'm afraid some of his explanations for these matters tests the court's ability to accept what he says."

Toland, of Slemish Way in Lisburn, is charged with burgling a house in the city in February, stealing £1,550 in cash and a BB gun.

Last month he was granted bail on condition that he abided by electronic monitoring requirements. But he now faces a new charge of criminal damage for allegedly removing the device seven days later. Police were alerted after a tamper alarm was activated at the security firm that manages the system on October 28.

Conor Maguire, prosecuting, said: "The tag was examined and there were no signs of any teeth marks around it."

Stressing the force required to break one of the devices, the barrister said it would take up to 40 kilos in weight.

Joel Lindsay, defending, accepted he faced "an uphill struggle" to secure bail once more for his client.

"His account of this is that he takes the dog for a walk every morning, but he slept in and the dog was gnawing at the thing on his leg," Mr Lindsay told the court.

The court heard Toland has been battling alcohol addiction. His barrister also revealed that he suffered two serious assaults earlier this year.

Belfast Telegraph

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