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Medical report sought on man accused after police siege at house

By Nevin Farrell

Published 20/09/2016

Armed police point their rifles at a house at Knockantern Grove in August
Armed police point their rifles at a house at Knockantern Grove in August

A lawyer for a man charged after armed police laid siege to his house in August has told a court the defence team is awaiting a medical report to see if the accused is fit to plead.

The revelation came at Coleraine Magistrates Court yesterday where Mark Shawn Kelly (43) appeared via video link from prison, where he is on remand in relation to the charges.

Kelly, of Knockantern Grove in the Mountsandel area of Coleraine, faces five charges.

They include two of possession of an imitation firearm with intent to cause another person to believe violence would be used against them, on August 16.

He is also accused of possessing a knife with intent to commit assault occasioning actual bodily harm; assaulting a police officer and resisting another officer.

Kelly was remanded in custody on the charges on August 18 when a police officer told Ballymena Magistrates Court he believed he could connect the accused to the charges and that he was objecting to bail. No bail application was made, however..

Yesterday, a defence lawyer said the case was listed for a bail application but Kelly no longer wished to apply for bail.

A prosecutor told the court a full case file is awaited and the defence lawyer said he is waiting on a 'Fitness to Plead' report regarding his client.

After District Judge Liam McNally said he was adjourning the case until October, Kelly replied: "Thank you."

On August 16 - police including the PSNI's specialist armed response unit - were camped outside Kelly's house for around five hours. A paramedic was on standby and police warned neighbours to stay away from the front of their homes.

Residents said helmet-wearing heavily-armoured specialist police could be seen with high-calibre weapons trained on the property as they crouched outside nearby homes and used garden bushes for cover.

Police used shields to approach the house and used a loud hailer to speak to a person, local people said.

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