Belfast Telegraph

Buckle down or face jail, judge warns man accused of New Year party attack

By Ashleigh McDonald

A man accused of assaulting two family members after gatecrashing a New Year’s Eve party has been released on bail — but was warned to “buckle down” or face going back to jail.

Ryan Lynch, from Winter Gardens in Omagh, is facing three charges linked to violence in the Mullaghmore Drive area of the Co Tyrone town in the early hours of January 1.

Lynch is accused of punching one man in the face, then being one of three men who attacked a relative of the first victim with a steel bar.

Omagh Crown Court, sitting in Belfast, heard Lynch had a bad criminal record as he was released to live at his mother’s address with a number of stringent conditions imposed.

Prior to releasing the 22-year-old, Judge Paul Ramsey was informed by a prosecution barrister that police were objecting to bail for a number of reasons, including the fear felt by two of Lynch’s alleged victims.

He also said the man who held the New Year’s Eye party has since moved from the area.

Outlining the Crown case, barrister Robin Steer said Lynch was one of three men involved in the incident.

Mr Steer claimed Lynch and two others arrived at the party in the early hours, but were asked to leave. The trio became aggressive, a scuffle ensued and at this point Lynch is accused of punched a reveller in the face, resulting in injuries.

The Crown believe that the trio then left the party, but returned to the area a short time later.

As a relative of the man punched in the mouth was returning back to the party after walking friends home, he noticed three men in the street, one of whom had a large steel bar.

Saying it was the Crown’s case that one of these men was Lynch, Mr Steer said the reveller tried to run from the three others but was struck on the leg and fell.

While on the ground, he was subjected to “numerous blows” which left him unconscious. He was subsequently treated for injuries including a wound to his head that needed 18 staples.

Mr Steer said Lynch was facing three charges, two of which were on the grounds of joint enterprise.

The prosecutor also told Judge Ramsey that the charges Lynch was facing were committed while he was on bail for a separate matter.

Mr Steer revealed police were objecting to bail for various reasons, including the two victims being in fear. He also said it was the police’s view that Lynch’s mother’s address was not suitable as “she has been unable to exercise any control over him”.

In addition, Judge Ramsey was told that Lynch had a bad criminal record, and a “long history” of breaching bail which including removing an electronic tag. All of this, Mr Steer argued, made Lynch a “poor candidate for bail”.

Defence barrister Ian Turkington said his client was a young man who was denying the offences against him and said the case would be going to trial.

Mr Turkington also said his client’s mother “is very keen that he is returned to her”.

Judge Ramsey agreed to release Lynch on bail, but imposed a number of conditions. They include a 10pm to 7am curfew, tagging, and reporting to police five times a week.

Telling Lynch he would be subject to “very restrictive conditions”, Judge Ramsey said: “You owe it to your mother and yourself to buckle down and comply with these bail conditions.”

Any breaches, the judge warned, would result in a return to custody.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph