A JUDGE refused to grant bail this week to a man who had 16 bench warrants out for his arrest in the last twelve months.
Before Judge John King in Newcastle West District Court was Michael O’Connell (48) of Oak Crescent, Newcastle West.
The current charges before the court were not outlined but when his solicitor requested an adjournment of the case, Judge King was told that he had been the subject of 16 arrest warrants in the last year for not turning up in court.
The court heard that he had suffered a bereavement when his partner died before Christmas. The accused man said in his own evidence that his “head was all over the place for the last few months,” and he gave an undertaking that he would turn up for the case when it is listed to be heard.
Seven of the bench warrants related to the case before the court while the the others related to matters which had been finalised before another court, the judge was told.
His solicitor also told the court that Mr O’Connell does not drive and had just now received a free travel pass. “He knows he is skating on thin ice,” the solicitor told the court.
But Judge King said that “he has gone beyond thin ice. I don’t believe he will turn up if I give him bail.”
The Judge remanded Mr Connolly in custody until May 18 when Judge Carol Ann Coolican is sitting again as he had been told that the regular Newcastle West Judge has an on-going interest in the case.