Man alleged to have thrown hot wax in cat’s face refused bail

A District Judge has refused bail to a man who allegedly threw hot wax into the face of a cat during an incident in a house in Maghera last week.

Tuesday, 24th August 2021, 1:23 pm

Twenty-four-year-old Joe O’Kane from Meetinghouse Avenue, Maghera, faces a charge of causing unnecessary suffering to the cat on August 15.

O’Kane, who appeared at Magherafelt Magistrates Court on Wednesday by video link from Coleraine custody suite, is also accused of common assault of a man on the same date.

Describing it as “a very concerning incident”, Judge Oonagh Mullan refused an application for bail by O’Kane’s counsel.

She remarked the injured party had done a good turn by buying O’Kane lunch and taking him to his house, where he had made advances towards his partner before jumping on the victim’s back and holding a small knife to his throat.

The judge described the incident involving the cat as “appalling” and said the animal must have suffered.

“It’s clear he has no control over his actions,” said the judge.

A police officer connected the defendant to both charges, and said police would be opposed to the court granting bail.

Outlining the police objections, the officer said the injured party alleged he met O’Kane at approximately 11am and he asked him for the lend of money.

He said the injured party took him down the street and bought him lunch and they returned to the injured party’s house to eat it.

The officer said while in the house the defendant allegedly made advances towards the injured party’s partner and when challenged jumped on his back and held a small knife to his throat.

Continuing, the officer said the victim managed to throw O’Kane off him into a corner of the room.

He alleged the defendant then lifted a candle and threw the wax in the face of the cat blinding it in the right eye.

He said O’Kane was arrested on August 16 and gave “no comment” answers to all matters.

The officer said police were opposed to the granting of bail as these matters had been committed while he was on bail for other matters.

He said a knife had been used and there was a risk to the public of further offending.

The officer added that the defendant lived about 150 metres from the injured party and there was a risk of him reoffending.

The judge remanded O’Kane in custody to appear again at Magherafelt Court on September 15.

She added that he could make a bail application to the High Court if he wished.

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