Belfast Telegraph

Lurgan man accused of hitting puppy with hammer granted bail

By Ashleigh McDonald

A Lurgan man accused of battering a puppy with a hammer has been granted bail - but warned he must have no contact with animals.

Kyle Keegan has been in custody since February when he was arrested following the death of 11-week old pup Sparky. The dog's bloodied remains were found in a bin in the Ailsbury Park area of Lurgan after a house party.

Following several unsuccessful applications, the 23-year old scaffolder was granted bail in the High Court on Wednesday, which will be perfected when a police-approved address is confirmed.

From Gilpins Manor in Lurgan, Keegan is facing a charge of causing unnecessary suffering to a dog on February 3. A postmortem on the pup's remains confirmed Sparky had sustained a number of fractures as well as severe brain trauma.

Crown prosecutor Conor Maguire provided Madam Justice McBride with the latest information regarding the investigation and told the court: "The progress to date is that later on today, police will know whether the pup Sparky's blood will be amenable to analysis to obtain DNA.

"If this is not possible, then police will have to pursue DNA through a tissue sample, and that may take some time. Police will not know until later whether DNA can be obtained from the dog's blood sample."

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Sparky the puppy

In previous bail applications, concerns were raised about a suitable address, and a potential risk to safety, should Keegan be released to live in Lurgan.

However, Madam Justice McBride was told that should an address approved by police be offered and agreed, the PSNI will risk-manage the situation.

The Judge was also presented with medical evidence from Keegan's GP which referred to a "concerning" mental health issue, as well as an indication he would have a job if released.

Branding the offence faced by Keegan as "very serious", Madam Justice McBride agreed to grant bail, which will be actioned when the police-approved address has been secured.

The Judge imposed a series of conditions that Keegan has to adhere to, including a ban on alcohol and drugs, observing a 10pm to 6am curfew, reporting to police twice a week and attending with his GP within seven days of being released.

Keegan was also told "there should be no contact with animals, and there should be no contact with anybody else in relation to this incident."

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