Man accused of having machete in Cookstown denied bail for daughter’s fourth birthday

Dungannon Court
Dungannon Court

A man accused of having a machete and knuckleduster on a Cookstown street has been denied compassionate bail to attend his daughter’s fourth birthday party.

Michael Gerard Cawley, 27, from Fairmount Park, is on remand in HMP Maghaberry and appeared in court via video link.

He is alleged have been in possession of a machete in Cookstown on August 28 as well as assault on police, resisting police, and disorderly behaviour.

He is also accused of two counts of assault on a man and a woman, attempted damage of a van, and possession of cannabis.

The defendant further stands accused of possession of a knuckleduster at Molesworth Road on August 7.

At court on Wednesday, a constable outlined PSNI objections to releasing the defendant to attend the birthday party.

“We strongly object,” he said.

“We believe, if released, he poses a serious risk to the public. He does not abide by conditions and has a long history of convictions and violent offences. There is a severe risk that he will not return to custody.”

Mr Karl Mallon, defending, told the court that his client denies all the allegations against him and intends to fully contest the matters.

“Mr Cawley would be collected by his brother... and would consent to be accompanied to his daughter’s birthday party.

“He was in custody for his daughter’s first day of school and this is something his daughter has been asking for,” Mr Mallon concluded.

Rejecting the application, District Judge John Meehan said: “Being unable to attend the birthday is one of these sad, necessary implications.

“He faces charges - which he denies - of having a machete and knucklduster in a public place ... and several other matters including drugs.”

The case was adjourned to reappear at East Tyrone Magistrate’s Court via video link on October 14.