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Delayed intimidation case man bailed

A man who was remanded in custody after allegedly threatening to burn an assault victim's house down unless he withdrew his evidence has been granted bail because it has taken so long for his case to come to trial.

Concern was raised in court that if Mark Lynch was released on bail he would again attempt to frighten the victim into withdrawing his evidence.

However, a judge yesterday decided to release Lynch saying it was not his fault the case has still not come to trial.

Lynch allegedly turned up at the victim's flat in December with a petrol bomb and ordered him to withdraw his complaint against his attacker or the property would be torched.

Lynch (30), of New Meadow Row, Castlewellan, denies charges of intimidating a witness and attempting to pervert the course of justice.

He also denies being armed with an offensive weapon and having a petrol bomb in suspicious circumstances.

Lynch allegedly intimidated the man after he was attacked outside a flat at Erskine Street in Newry in December.

The victim was taken to hospital for stitches above his eye and after he was discharged he returned to his friend's flat, where he was allegedly confronted by Lynch who is accused of being armed with the petrol bomb.

It was previously claimed in court that Lynch told the man to withdraw his complaint against his alleged attacker or he |would “douse his property with petrol”.

Bail was refused in the case in December due to the risk of further offences being committed.

During another bail application in Newry Crown Court yesterday, a prosecution barrister again raised concern that if released Lynch could intimidate witnesses in the case.

Judge Kevin Finnegan said, however, that he would release him on stringent bail conditions “because it is no fault of his own that he is unable to get a trial”.

Lynch was ordered to adhere to a curfew between 10pm and 7am, banned from drinking alcohol and from entering Newry, except for his court appearances.

Belfast Telegraph