Judge says he will witness summons surgeon

Derry's Courthouse on Bishop Street. 3003JM66
Derry's Courthouse on Bishop Street. 3003JM66

A judge at Derry Magistrate’s Court has said he will reluctantly witness summons a surgeon if he does not make contact with the PSNI.

The comments by District Judge Barney McElholm came during a bail application by Aaron Hyland (21) whose address was given as Cranbrook Court in Belfast who is charged with raping a woman in Derry on October 3 last.

During the bail application a detective told the court that the prosecution case was 95% complete but that they had been unable to contact the surgeon who had treated the alleged injured party.

He said police were opposed to Hyland being released on bail as they feared he would re-offend.

The detective said that Hyland had 67 previous convictions.

He also said that there was a risk to Hyland if he was released.

The detective said that it was the police stance that the risk to Hyland was so great that if he was released they feared he would abscond.

In response to a defence barrister the officer said that he would not say that the surgeon, a Mr. Lawlor, was refusing to engage with police but that he was very busy saving lived.

He rejected a suggestion from the defence barrister that police were ‘meeting a wall of silence from the surgeon.

Referring to forensic reports the court was told that the defendant’s DNA and blood belonging to the alleged injured party had been found on a hammer found at the scene.

The defence barrister also called into question the nature of the threat against Hyland but Judge McElholm said that this defendant had been threatened in open court in front of him.

District Judge Barney McElholm said that it was ‘concerning’ that the medical report was taking so long.

He added that he did not know why this doctor had not been in touch with police but society needed a functioning criminal justice system and no matter how busy someone was they had to co-operate.

He refused bail for Hyland due to the risk of re-offending and said he would impose a short adjournment and added: “If police by that stage have no medical report I will have no option but to witness summons the doctor.

“I don’t want to have to do this and I would rather the doctor was in the hospital saving lives.”

He adjoined the case until April 9 and said he hoped he would not have to witness summons the doctor but he would if necessary.