English student actor Riley Powell accused of assaulting girlfriend given bail
A student charged with assaulting his partner numerous times on the one day has been allowed to return home to England on bail, but with very stern warnings from a Northern Ireland judge.
Riley Powell was told that any breach of his conditions would lead to him being remanded in custody.
District Judge Bernie Kelly, at Craigavon Magistrates Court, pointed out that this could mean a lengthy spell behind bars.
Powell (20), of Broad Lane, Coventry, is also accused of damaging his girlfriend's phone during the spate of offences on July 15.
An officer familiar with the facts of the case told the court yesterday that the charges could be connected.
A defence barrister explained Powell had travelled from England to visit his girlfriend when the alleged offences occurred, and her address was obviously no longer available to him.
It was suggested Powell be released home to England with his parents facilitating his return to Northern Ireland for court appearances.
District Judge Kelly said: "I have very real concerns in granting bail to an address in England. Coventry's finest (the police) will not be remotely interested in enforcing any bail conditions I could impose."
On enquiring further into the situation, Judge Kelly was advised the couple met at university, where Powell is studying acting.
She said: "Are we talking RADA (Royal Academy of Dramatic Art)?"
From the dock Powell replied: "No, not RADA."
The judge responded: "So you are not planning to work for a living? (TV star) Damian Lewis, eat your heart out."
On learning the alleged victim is intending to transfer to a different university in the new term, Judge Kelly said she was reluctant, but would grant bail.
She ordered Powell to stay at his home address every night without exception and have no contact by any means with the alleged victim.
She added: "I cannot impose any further conditions as they cannot be enforced.
"It is interesting we have a Reciprocal Enforcement Act with the Republic of Ireland but not with GB."
Emphasising there must be no social media discussions on the issue, Judge Kelly told Powell: "If I discover any breach of trust, bail will be revoked and you will be remanded in custody.
"And I should point out we have a very different system here from that in England.
"Our PPS can take years to deal with cases, unlike England where they are dealt with in a matter of days."
The case has been adjourned to Lisburn Magistrates Court next month, when Powell is to appear in person.