Belfast Telegraph

Man facing GBH trial permitted Anfield trip

A man charged with inflicting grievous bodily harm and having an iron bar received High Court permission yesterday to travel |to watch his beloved Liverpool FC.

Paul O'Donnell's lawyer said he wanted to go to Merseyside for a match and see the club's famous Anfield Stadium before it faces potential demolition for development.

The 28-year-old from Maghera, Co Londonderry, is accused in connection with an alleged assault in the town in March.

He faces charges of grievous bodily harm with intent and possession of an offensive weapon in public, namely an iron bar.

No exact details of the alleged offences were disclosed, but Crown Counsel Kate McKay told the court: “It involves violence with drink taken.”

O'Donnell was previously granted bail on conditions which included a night-time curfew and electronic tagging.

Mrs McKay said he was seeking a variation to allow him to travel to Liverpool for a match on December 18 and return the next day. “Police have no objection to him going to the match but are concerned he may get involved in taking drink and perhaps get into trouble later in the evening,” she added.

The judge was also told that |efforts could be made for liaison between the PSNI and Merseyside Police.

A defence barrister stressed that O'Donnell was only seeking to have his curfew relaxed, with the situation arising because kick-off was put back for TV purposes.

The judge agreed to suspend O'Donnell's curfew for one day after being told his hotel was away from Liverpool city centre.

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