Belfast Telegraph

Judge blocks drug accused's holiday plans

A Newtownabbey man currently awaiting trial on drugs offences will not be allowed to go on a two-week family holiday to Turkey, a judge determined yesterday
A Newtownabbey man currently awaiting trial on drugs offences will not be allowed to go on a two-week family holiday to Turkey, a judge determined yesterday

By Ashleigh McDonald

A Newtownabbey man currently awaiting trial on drugs offences will not be allowed to go on a two-week family holiday to Turkey, a judge determined yesterday.

A barrister acting on behalf of 30-year-old Eamon Clarke applied to have two of his client's bail conditions altered.

However, Judge David McFarland refused both applications due to fear of further offending and concerns Clarke may not return for his trial in September. Clarke, from Glenview Drive, is due to stand trial on charges including supplying the class A drug cocaine in September 2017.

Addressing Judge McFarland at Belfast Crown Court, Clarke's barrister asked that his client's curfew be relaxed.

Revealing Clarke was granted High Court bail in October 2017, the barrister asked for a relaxation as he "has been on bail coming up to two years".

The barrister also asked for Clarke's bail terms to be altered to allow him to go on a two-week holiday to Turkey. He told the judge: "He has not booked anything yet. His family have booked, but he was waiting to make this application in court."

Both applications were opposed by the Crown due to concerns over reoffending and flight risk.

Judge McFarland said he was refusing the requests.

Regarding the holiday, the judge said: "I would have concerns about him not turning up for his trial, therefore I am not going to allow him to leave this jurisdiction to go to Turkey."

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