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Burglary accused has 401 previous convictions


A 38-YEAR-OLD man with 401 previous convictions who is accused of burglary at a pub last month, has been refused bail.

Benny McCullagh of Main Street in Sixmilecross is charged with burglary and criminal damage at the Coranny Inn on Carnmore Road, Roslea during which he stole cash and a cash dispenser containing approximately £1,000 on March 6 and March 7.

McCullagh appeared before Monday’s hearing of Enniskillen Magistrates Court via videolink from Maghaberry Prison. He is also accused of damaging a bin belonging to the South West Acute Hospital and using disorderly behaviour in a public place, namely the hospital on March 8. He also faces a charge of assaulting a female police officer on the same date.

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District Judge Nigel Broderick was told that McCullagh was refused bail on March 9 and an investigating officer outlined to this week’s second application hearing that the defendant had been linked to the incident at the Roslea pub by CCTV and the discovery of items including keys.

The court heard that during police interviews, McCullagh had denied the offences but gave different outlines of events that led police to believe that he wasn’t being entirely honest. Police said they were objecting to the bail application due to McCullagh’s risk of further offending and their belief that he is unlikely to abide by bail conditions.

Defence solicitor John McCaffrey said his client’s brother was willing to act as a surety and McCullagh would consent to wear an electronic tag.

Judge Broderick was told by police that footprints, fingerprints, DNA swabs and footwear seized at McCullagh’s property were all currently being examined by forensics.

The judge said he was concerned about the possibility of further offences and the defendant’s substantial number of previous convictions, adding that the provision of a surety was not a sufficient change of circumstances to merit bail. The application was refused and McCullagh was remanded in custody to appear in court again via videolink on May 8.

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