Belfast Telegraph

Murder accused granted bail for funeral despite objections

By John Cassidy

A Co Down window cleaner awaiting trial for murder has been given compassionate bail to attend a relative's funeral despite prosecution fears he may abscond.

Richard Hugh Jackie Dalzell (36), of Whinpark Road, Newtownards, is accused of murdering Mark Anthony Lamont in Coleraine, on October 11, 2016, and intimidating a witness.

A court hearing earlier this month was told that neighbours witnessed a confrontation between Mr Lamont and Dalzell outside a female friend's house in the town on September 25, 2016.

It was claimed that Dalzell got into his car and "drove around the block and passed witnesses at the scene and shouted out of the window: 'I'm in the UDA. You saw nothing'."

Mr Lamont was taken to hospital but died from his injuries.

Dalzell, who appeared by videolink from Maghaberry prison, applied for compassionate bail to attend the funeral on Monday, December 4, of his uncle's partner, Patricia Mary Connor, who died on November 27.

At Belfast Crown Court yesterday, prosecution counsel Michael Chambers said the Crown was objecting to Dalzell being released on compassionate bail saying there was not a "substantial nexus relationship'' between the defendant and the deceased.

He told Mr Justice Colton that on six previous occasions Dalzell had broken his bail conditions set by the court.

He said: "In June of this year, he was at large for a week. On the day he went on the run, he signed his bail at Newtownards police station. An officer noted he was smartly dressed and she asked him where he was going.

"He told her that he was on his way to a funeral. We say that the use of the funeral was a pretence for going on the run and those are the reasons for objection to this application.''

Defence barrister Mark Farrell said it was a properly ground compassionate bail application as the deceased was "effectively the defendant's aunt'' through her long-standing relationship with his uncle, and he wanted to "pay his respects to her, his uncle and the wider family circle".

He said in September that Dalzell had been granted a compassionate bail application and he had "abided by all the conditions imposed'' to attend a family funeral and had returned to jail earlier than the court had stipulated.

Mr Farrell said that a cash surety of £1,000 was available and Dalzell's sister Sarah was also willing to act as a further surety and would drive her brother to and from the prison to the attend the funeral.

Mr Justice Colton said he would grant the application, but ruled that a further surety of £250 be lodged, that Dalzell was not to consume drugs or alcohol and was only allowed to be in his sister's car during his release.

Belfast Telegraph

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