A man who is charged with a number of drug offences had his application for the alteration to his bail address denied after the Judge refused to let him stay in an address in Enniskillen that was once used by an “escort”.
Gary Hutchinson, with an address of Floraville Enniskillen, is currently residing in a community hostel in Larne with his bail conditions preventing him from residing in Enniskillen.
His Barrister, Gavin Cairns, argued that Hutchinson was permitted to stay in Enniskillen for a three day period over Christmas and had not broken any conditions that were set for those three days and that this allowed for “cautious optimism” with respect to altering current bail conditions to allow the defendant to reside in Enniskillen.
Police had opposed any alteration to bail and gave evidence to the court as to their concerns.
A police officer told the court that the address that Hutchinson had supplied to the court was a housing executive property that his girlfriend lived in.
The police officer went on to say that she understood that the housing executive “did not permit” people on bail to use their properties for change of addresses for bail purposes.
The police officer also told the court that the house in question, which was also the address of Hutchinson’s girlfriend, had been used by another female to “work as an escort”.
The police also objected to bail stating that a “number of vulnerable people with addiction problems” lived close to the address that Hutchinson was proposing for his bail in Enniskillen.
The police officer also provided an outline of the charges facing the defendant. Hutchinson is before the court on eight separate drugs charges relating to possession and intent to supply ecstasy, cannabis and Tramadol and also possession of criminal property.
It was revealed to the court that on September 6, 2019 police had carried out a search of a property in Floraville where the defendant was living at the time. The police officer explained that a sum of between £8,000 and £10,000 had been retrieved from Hutchinson’s bedroom and that in a garden shed outside the property, which was locked, a kilogram of cannabis had been found.
The police officer told the court that on the day in question the defendant’s girlfriend had been “complicit” on the day “in trying to deny access to the police to the property”.
Defending barrister Gavin Kearns explained that the High Court had granted bail to Hutchinson following the incident and that an alteration to those conditions were now being sought.
In his questioning of the police officer, Mr. Cairns asked was it true that there had been no DNA evidence linking the defendant to the garden shed to which the police officer said there had not been.
Mr. Cairns went on to say that his client had been permitted to spend three days over the Christmas period in Enniskillen and that he had not come to the attention of the police in that time. He added that Hutchinson had complied with bail conditions in relation to signing in at a police station three days a week and that his overall compliance with conditions meant that the “court should trust him further”.
However, District Judge Steven Keown said that he was refusing the alteration to bail application.
“Almost without exception his drug related crimes had taken place in Enniskillen.”
Judge Keown went on to say that in addition “the address was not at all suitable” and that it was “only proper” that Hutchinson was “kept out of Enniskillen”.