Belfast Telegraph

Would-be killer has bail varied to allow him a 'festive sherry or two' over Christmas holidays

By Paul Higgins

A would-be killer from Portrush had his bail varied on Tuesday to allow him to have “a festive sherry or two” over the Christmas holidays.

While Antrim Crown Court Judge Desmond Marrinan said it was with “some hesitation” he would allow 38-year-old Remy Lafferty to drink alcohol in his own house, he is still barred from entering licensed premises so someone else will have to buy alcohol for him.

Rafferty, from Glentaisie Park in the seaside town, is currently on bail accused of attempting to murder William Moore, wounding him with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and possessing a broken umbrella with intent to commit murder on March 13 last year.

Lafferty is alleged to have used an umbrella shaft to stab Mr Moore in the neck in an attack outside a bar in Portstewart.

Opening the facts in the brief contested bail application on Tuesday prosecuting lawyer Suzanne Gallagher described how police and ambulance crews arrived at the scene to find two men unconscious so both were taken to the Causeway Hospital.

While Lafferty was released into police custody within a short time, his alleged victim “spent some time in ICU” having sustained two stab wounds to his neck.

Arrested and interviewed Lafferty claimed he had little recollection of the incident “due to intoxication” and Ms Gallagher said it was clear “that alcohol is a significant factor with this individual...when he has drink taken the risk of him reoffending is significantly increased.”

Defence barrister Francis Rafferty said while “I cannot gainsay” the PPS submissions, he was putting forward a “festive compromise” that Lafferty would be allowed to consume alcohol, exclusively in his own home.

He told the court that Lafferty, who was once refused permission to travel to a dance music festival in Liverpool, had been on bail for 18 months with no problems, submitting that “between Christmas and New Year, he would be entitled to certainly a festive sherry or two.”

Judge Marrinan said while he did not want to treat the defence suggestion “lightheartedly given the nature of the charges,” he would only grant the variation if Lafferty agreed to an additional curfew also being imposed.

“I’m minded to impose a curfew from 8-8 from 24 December to 1 January and during that period, with some hesitation, he may consume alcohol in his own home,” said the judge.

If Lafferty is found to be intoxicated in public, the judge warned that would be a breach of the bail terms.

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