Belfast Telegraph

Teen facing multiple charges is refused compassionate bail

By Staff Reporter

A judge has refused to grant compassionate bail for a teenager accused of over 50 offences, including rape, after police expressed serious concerns.

Nathan Kidney (18) from Dergina Road, Dungannon, has been remanded in custody since June, after bail was refused on the plethora of charges allegedly committed over a 12-hour period, and ending with a high-speed police chase with a vulnerable woman on board.

When he first appeared at Dungannon Magistrates Court to be charged, all but the motoring offences - of which there are 18 - involved the female victim, who alleges she was raped, assaulted, detained against her will and left petrified.

There are 27 counts of assaulting her over a period of time, allegedly beginning with an early morning incident at her home and ending with police finding her being pushed in a shopping trolley by Kidney in the Lonsdale Road area of Armagh.

Bail was refused on that occasion and subsequently at High Court.

A second attempt for bail at Dungannon Magistrates Court was mounted last week, and similarly refused as "risks remain too great".

However, a defence lawyer made an application for compassionate bail yesterday to permit Kidney to visit his elderly grandfather in hospital.

He pointed out while the treating clinicians are refusing to release the grandfather's medical details under data protection rules, Kidney's mother had advised him of the situation.

The grandfather was taken to hospital by ambulance earlier this week, which the defence argued "should be considered very concerning", and has been diagnosed with pneumonia.

But a detective constable remained firmly opposed to Kidney's release under any circumstances. The detective said she had spoken with hospital staff who "believe there is no immediate cause for concern".

She added: "The defendant is alleged to have committed the current offences whilst on bail. He has been subject to bench warrants after failing to attend court.

She said the accused has numerous previous convictions, 20 of which are for assault.

"If released, police believe he may interfere with witnesses and the course of justice. We are particularly concerned for the injured party who is in fear of the defendant," the detective added.

District Judge John Meehan refused the application.

He said: "Police have made their own enquiries, which found no cause for undue concern. I don't feel I can override that opinion."

He continued: "In addition, the desperado behaviour of the defendant on previous occasions does not give confidence he would comply with any constraints placed upon him if released."

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