Belfast Telegraph

Lurgan man chanted 'wicked witch is dead' while threatening arson, court hears

The accused was denied bail
The accused was denied bail

By Alan Erwin

A man allegedly threatened to burn his neighbour out while chanting "the wicked witch is dead", the High Court has heard.

Prosecutors also claimed 37-year-old Gerard Lavery banged on the woman's door and threw liquid over her window.

Lavery, of Brownlow Terrace in Lurgan, Co Armagh, faces charges of criminal damage, threats to damage property endangering life, threats to kill and breaching a restraining order.

He denies the offences allegedly committed on September 7 this year.

A judge was told he went to the neighbour's home and started banging on her front door and windows.

Crown lawyer Conor Maguire claimed: "He was shouting at her 'I'm going to burn you out' and chanting 'the wicked witch is dead'.

"He also threw some liquid over her window."

According to Mr Maguire the woman is a "wholly innocent party" living close to so-called drinking dens who had previously secured a restraining order.

During interviews Lavery said he had consumed around seven beers on the day in question.

He had initially secured bail, but breached conditions when he was found lying in a doorway close to the scene in the early hours of the morning, the court heard.

Defence counsel argued that Lavery had returned to Lurgan due to an emergency involving a female friend.

But refusing to grant him bail again, Mr Justice O'Hara said: "I have no confidence Mr Lavery would adhere to conditions."

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