Belfast Telegraph

No bail for former boxer Eamonn Magee as he fights depression

Former world boxing champion Eamonn Magee's life spiralled down into alcohol abuse and mental health problems after retirement from the ring, the High Court has heard.

A judge denied bail after hearing how the 39-year-old went missing for four months after breaching earlier bail conditions.

Magee, of Eskdale Gardens, Belfast, was seeking to be released again from custody while he contests charges of threatening to kill his ex-wife and causing criminal damage to her car last December.

He faces separate allegations of breaching a non-molestation order in connection with another woman.

Although she is no longer planning to give evidence against him, that prosecution is set to proceed on the basis of telephone call evidence.

The ex-WBU world welterweight title holder, known as ‘The Terminator’ during a career which included 33 fights, was released on bail earlier this year to live at an address in Hull in England.

He breached those conditions by returning to Northern Ireland in the summer without consent, the court heard.

It is claimed that a girlfriend in Hull had thrown him out.

Crown counsel Barry Valentine said that a warrant for his arrest was only executed in November.

Declan Quinn, defending, disputed the strength of both cases against his client and suggested neither prosecution may ultimately proceed.

The barrister said Magee accepted that he has not handled matters properly in recent months and had “put his head in the sand”.

But he stressed how the boxer was now focused on helping to train and be a role model for young fighters at Breen's Gym in Belfast.

Issues around depression that he has suffered were also outlined to the court.

Mr Quinn said: “From the dizzy heights of world championship boxing success, Mr Magee's life somewhat spiralled downward.

“Part of that spiralling involved the abuse of alcohol and related mental health issues.”

But refusing bail, Lord Chief Justice Sir Declan Morgan pointed to the four months Magee was at large after breaching bail.

The judge said: “It leaves me with no confidence at all that if he was admitted to bail he would adhere to conditions.”

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