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Jail for serial offender who took hammer to cousin's window

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A man who failed to attend court for sentencing earlier this week because he "lives close to a murder scene" has been jailed

A man who failed to attend court for sentencing earlier this week because he "lives close to a murder scene" has been jailed

A man who failed to attend court for sentencing earlier this week because he "lives close to a murder scene" has been jailed

A man who failed to attend court for sentencing earlier this week because he "lives close to a murder scene" has been jailed.

William Hamilton (44), from McCrea Park in Clogher, previously admitted damaging his cousin's window in April last year.

While his lawyer was in attendance on Wednesday when sentencing was scheduled, Hamilton failed to appear.

The court was told that he lives close to the area where Pat Ward was murdered. The father-of-four's body was found in the Co Tyrone village on Saturday morning.

District Judge John Meehan issued a bench warrant and Hamilton was brought before Dungannon Magistrates Court yesterday. The defence requested a release on bail to allow a second opportunity for a pre-sentence report, but District Judge Meehan ordered that the case should proceed.

A prosecution lawyer explained Hamilton arrived at a cousin's home with a hammer, smashed a pane of glass and shouted: "You know what you done."

He then encouraged the victim to come out and fight.

Hamilton was arrested at his home, but during police interview he remained silent throughout.

The defence explained there had been ill-feeling between his client and the victim for some time, but accepted this was no excuse.

He said that on the day in question Hamilton had consumed too much alcohol and, "taking a hammer", he went to the victim's house "not giving much thought for the consequences".

It was accepted he has "a long and various record" consisting of 164 previous convictions.

Addressing Hamilton directly, Judge Meehan said: "The striking feature in your offending is alcohol abuse.

"You have a relevant record for causing damage, as well as fraud and defiance of court orders."

He imposed a sentence of two months' imprisonment. The defence indicated Hamilton did not intend to appeal.

Belfast Telegraph