Man remanded in custody over Ballybofey criminal damage incident

May 22, 2024

A man has been remanded in custody following an alleged act of criminal damage in Ballybofey.

Andrew Bladek was brought before Letterkenny District Court in connection with an incident on Sunday night.

Bladek is charged with one count of criminal damage, breaking the sitting room window of a house at Blue Cedars, Ballybofey at around 11.40pm on Sunday.

Bladek, a 23-year-old of Glenpatrick, Donegal Road, Ballybofey, was remanded in custody when he appeared before Judge Éiteáin Cunningham.

Detective Garda Cathal Feely gave evidence of arresting Bladek at Glenpatrick Park at 10.15am on Monday.

Bladek was detained under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act, 1984 and later charged at 3.49pm on Monday.

Detective Garda Feely told the court that Bladek made no reply after caution.

Sergeant Jim Collins objected to bail on behalf of An Garda Siochana and outlined to the court various reasons.

Solicitor for Bladek, Mr Rory O’Brien, said that the accused man enjoyed the presumption of innocence and, while his client availed of his right to silence, he did not cause difficulty for gardai following his arrest.

Detective Garda Feely said this was the case and said that Bladek had made admissions under caution.

Detective Garda John O’Sullivan gave evidence of executing a bail warrant on Bladek and asked the court to revoke bail previously granted.

He said that Bladek was bailed on November 1, 2023 with conditions attached, including that he obey a curfew, remain of sober habits and sign on daily at Ballybofey Garda Station.

Detective Garda O’Sullivan gave evidence of alleged breaches of bail by Bladek.

Mr O’Brien argued that his client had the ‘absolute right’ to bail.

“A charge is not a conviction,” Mr O’Brien said, urging the court to impose conditions and grant bail. “A charge does not mean the commission of further offence.”

Sergeant Collins outlined that there were concerns over the granting of bail.

Judge Éiteáin Cunningham said that Bladek enjoyed the presumption of innocence but said that, after taking all matters into account, she was refusing the application for bail on the new charge and remanding Bladek in custody.

In respect of the application to revoke previous bail, Judge Cunningham said she was satisfied that there had been a breach of bail.

Noting that, by his own admission, Bladek was not in his house at a time he was supposed to be under a curfew.

Bladek was remanded in custody to appear again at Letterkenny District Court on May 27.