Bail conditions relaxed to allow accused mobile phone in case of attack

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Editorial Image

A judge has relaxed bail conditions and allowed a Coleraine man, accused of drugs offences, to carry a mobile phone so he can contact police and his family if he is attacked.

The development regarding Peter Neill (49), from Hazelbank Road, came at Coleraine Magistrate’s Court on Monday, July 24 after a defence lawyer said the defendant was recently the “subject of an attack” but he had no means of contacting police.

Neill’s son, Peter George Anthony Neill (30), of Pates Lane, Coleraine, also had his bail varied to allow him to have a mobile phone.

The lawyer said Neill Junior needs a phone because he is setting up a car-related business.

Granting the bail relaxations, District Judge Liam McNally said he had previously indicated in May he would review bail if there were no bail breaches and that had been the case.

He allowed both accused to have mobile phones, without internet capability, and they must notify the police.

Neill senior is facing charges relating to the supply of cocaine and cannabis, as well as possession and transfer of criminal property, and possessing a firearm, namely a magazine suitable for an assault rifle, without a certificate.

Neill junior is facing charges relating to the supply of Class A and Class B drugs, as well as possession and transferring criminal property charges.

A prosecutor said the Neill cases involve an “assisting offender” and a statement from that person has still to be received by the Public Prosecution Service.

Judge McNally said the Neills first came to court in December in relation to the allegations and he thought the statement would have been obtained “a long time ago”.

The Neills were released on continuing bail and the case was adjourned until August 21.