Belfast Telegraph

Thug behind hate campaign against woman is denied bail

By Ashleigh McDonald

A man accused of waging a campaign of intimidation against an innocent woman after she lifted rubbish he threw outside her home has been refused bail.

A prosecutor told the High Court that Thomas Robert Reid (31) "seems to be unable to control his temper, drunk or sober".

Reid is currently facing a third set of charges against the same woman who lives on Lisburn's Tonagh estate.

Refusing bail, Mr Justice O'Hara said the woman in question "deserves to be protected".

Reid, from Drumannon Park in Portadown, was handed a six-month prison sentence last year for offences arising from the first incident involving the woman in question.

Crown barrister Kate McKay said that last July Reid was "under the influence of drink" and became involved in an argument with a woman he had never previously met. He was "ranting to himself" and argued with the resident who came out of her house to pick up rubbish Reid had dropped outside her property.

He called her sectarian names and threatened to damage her windows. Mrs McKay said that due to the sectarian element, this was regarded as a hate crime. Reid was prosecuted and given a six-month sentence at Lisburn Magistrates Court for offences including disorderly behaviour and threatening to damage property.

Mrs McKay said that last month Reid returned to the woman's home where he allegedly shouted sectarian abuse and threw items at her windows. He is also alleged to have shouted to her: "Six months. I'll get you back, you b****."

He was subsequently arrested and was later granted police bail, one of the conditions of which was a ban on him entering Tonagh estate.

On the evening of June 29 a male who was with Reid went to the woman's address and knocked on her front door.

Telling the court "she was in fear and wouldn't answer the door", Mrs McKay said that when the woman's partner answered he could see Reid standing around 20 metres away. Reid was arrested for allegedly breaching bail conditions.

Mrs McKay said the incidents had left the woman "extremely distressed and fearful".

The prosecutor branded Reid's record as "considerable" and added that bail was being opposed over concerns he would reoffend and would not adhere to bail conditions.

When asked about the alleged offences on June 29, a defence barrister told Mr Justice O'Hara that his client had no intention of entering Tonagh estate - but rather he bumped into an acquaintance who was the "worse for wear" so he decided to "do a good deed" and walk him home, and in doing so he passed the woman's house.

His client stood on Longstone Street, believing he was allowed to be there, but not in Tonagh estate.

The barrister said Reid also claimed he didn't know his friend was going to knock the woman's door.

Mr Justice O'Hara said the accused was a man who "hasn't learned his lesson" from his previous period of imprisonment. He told the court Reid had subjected "an entirely innocent lady" to threats and sectarian abuse, and said he "didn't believe for a second" Reid's version of what occurred on June 29.

He added: "I am satisfied there is a substantial risk of further offending and a substantial risk of further intimidation of this lady. She deserves to be protected. Bail is refused."

Belfast Telegraph


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