Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

Judge criticises PPS as charges are withdrawn

A judge has criticised the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) in the case of a Crossmaglen man who had been charged with assault and intimidation offences.

Brendan Carragher (34) of Creenkill Road, Crossmaglen, had been accused of assault and making a threat to kill in relation to an incident in February this year, where a shotgun was fired at a house in Cullyhanna in which a mother and her son were inside.  

Carragher was arrested in March and charged with GBH (grievous bodily harm), AOABH (assault occasioning actual bodily harm) and making a threat to kill, before being granted bail and made the subject of a non-molestation order.

He was re-arrested in July and appeared at Newry Magistrates Court accused of allegedly breaching the order on two occasions, with the second breach alleged to have occurred in The Quays shopping centre in Newry when Mr Carragher walked past the male and “smirked” at him. 

When the case came before the court again last week, the Prosecution advised it would not be putting forward any evidence and was withdrawing all charges.

In response, District Judge Eamonn King acknowledged the difficult situation Mr Carragher had “been put through”.  He warned the PPS that he was taking “a judicial note” of matter and said he would not be as quick to make such a non-molestation order in the future “given your experience in this matter”.