Belfast Telegraph

Police begin hunt as man with over 200 convictions on the run again

The judge agreed to grant bail with the address condition amended, and with the addition of an electronic tag (stock photo)
The judge agreed to grant bail with the address condition amended, and with the addition of an electronic tag (stock photo)

By Staff Reporter

A notorious offender with over 200 convictions who was caught after being on the run for five years has absconded again.

A new warrant has been issued after Christopher Ronan Donnelly (38) failed to appear at Dungannon Magistrates Court.

Until recently Donnelly, who has Enniskillen addresses, given variously as Moneynoe Glebe or Chanterhill, was subject to an arrest warrant and was unlawfully at large after an assault charge in 2014.

Once detained he claimed to have been in England, where police flew over to arrest him.

When they learned he "couldn't cope with the plane, and would become distressed" at the prospect of flying, Donnelly claims the officers decided "it was best not to put him through that". This was rubbished by a judge.

Following arrest Donnelly was remanded in custody until bail was granted. He was ordered to reside with his mother in Dungannon, but issues arose and he returned to custody several times at his own request.

But in one instance while police were attending to an unrelated matter Donnelly hurled abuse, despite having nothing to do with the incident.

The court heard at 5.30pm on May 19 officers were dealing with an altercation when Donnelly began shouting: "Oppressive Crown forces. RUC b******s." He scaled a 10ft fence before being arrested and shouted abuse.

Donnelly lashed out, punching an officer in the face, who fell to the ground. He struggled violently, shouted abuse, and repeatedly spat in officers' faces.

Despite objections Donnelly was released on bail, but then called police himself on June 30 to say the address at which he was residing was no longer available.

Officers attended the house at Donnelly's request to take him into custody, and requested he provide a breath specimen, as bail conditions banned alcohol.

He refused to co-operate with this but was otherwise compliant.

The following day Donnelly appeared in court where a defence lawyer applied to revoke bail until a suitable address was found.

He said Donnelly denied refusing to provide a breath sample, and was adamant police never requested it.

The defence contended Donnelly took the initiative to advise police of his situation, as residing with his mother was no longer an option.

Police objected to bail, pointing out that Donnelly has 213 previous convictions and had twice revoked his release over residence issues with his mother, since May.

The defence repeated police involvement was at Donnelly's invitation and requested bail be reinstated with release to a suitable address. This meant Donnelly would be in custody until alternative accommodation was found.

The judge agreed to grant bail with the address condition amended, and with the addition of an electronic tag.

Donnelly was returned to custody for around a fortnight, then released again to an Enniskillen address last week.

He was absent at the next scheduled sitting of Dungannon Magistrates Court, and a defence lawyer was unable to offer any explanation.

District Judge John Meehan issued another bench warrant for Donnelly's arrest.

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