Belfast man who made threats to kill is refused bail

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A Belfast man who is due to be sentenced for offences including possessing a machete and making threats to kill was refused bail on Wednesday.

Tomas Daniel Foster was due to stand trial at Belfast Crown Court on four separate offences, including the machete offence.

Despite initially denying the offences, when a new charge was added to the bill, the 29-year-old changed his plea and admitted four offences.

A more serious charge Foster initially faced was left on the books.

Foster, from Stewart Street, admitted two counts of threatening to kill a man, and also of assaulting the same man, as well as possessing the machete with intent to commit an offence.

All of the offences occured last July.

After his defence barrister Kelly Doherty asked for pre-sentence reports for her client, Foster was informed by Judge Sandra Crawford that he will be sentenced next month.

Ms Doherty then made an application for bail, which was objected to by the Crown.

Prosecuting barrister Mark Farrell said bail was being opposed on several grounds – one of which was that two months after being granted bail in March, Foster breached one of his bail conditions by contacting a Crown witness via the Facebook Messenger service.

Telling Judge Crawford that following Foster’s pleas “the presumption of innocence no longer applies”, Mr Farrell said that Foster has already breached bail once and there were fears he would do so again if released.

Ms Doherty said that Foster has accepted that breaching the bail condition was “an extremely stupid thing for him to have done”.

She also pointed out that, whilst on bail, her client had not committed any further offences and had adhered to all other conditions, including a curfew.

The defence barrister added that the nature of the Facebook message was “non-threatening”, adding that since his arrest Foster has spent nine months in custody.

After listening to submissions from both the Crown and defence, Judge Crawford said: “Bearing in mind the objections raised, the breach after bail was granted and the ramifications of that breach, I am minded to refuse this application.”