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Men 'attempted to drown' Armagh hostel resident

By Alan Erwin

Published 19/08/2015

The accused was refused bail.
The accused was refused bail.

Belfast High Court has heard claims alleged intruders into the room of an Armagh hostel resident attempted to drown the man.

The resident claimed he was beaten and had his face forced into water after three men broke into his accommodation in Armagh demanding 'blues', prosecutors said.

Details emerged as one of those accused of taking part in the attack was refused compassionate bail to visit his elderly grandmother.

John Doran, 38, faces charges of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, threats to kill and burglary with intent to commit grievous bodily harm.

He is alleged to have committed the offences against a fellow resident at his hostel on Linenhall Street in the city.

Prosecution counsel Conor Maguire said the man claimed he was pushed back into his room after opening his door to investigate noises outside.

Doran and two others are accused of entering and launching an attack, punching the victim about the head and pinning him to a bed.

"He was asked for drugs, described as blues, and said he didn't have any," Mr Maguire told the court.

The intruders allegedly continued their assault as they repeated their demands.

It was claimed that one of Doran's co-accused then pushed the man's face into water and kept it there for a period.

"He said they were attempting to drown him," the prosecutor added.

Doran was seeking temporary release to visit his grandmother, described as being in her 90s and suffering from dementia.

According to defence counsel she is in a "deteriorating" condition.

But refusing bail, Lord Justice Girvan held there was a risk of non-compliance with any release conditions.

The judge also ruled that the medical information disclosed no immediate urgency.

He said: "It may well be that the grandmother would like to see her grandson, but we are not in a situation where there's evidence of such gravity that the court should take the risk in granting bail."

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