Hijacking accused refused visit to terminally ill father

Court
Court

A man accused of hijacking a vehicle from a female motorist in the centre of Belfast has had a request to visit his terminally ill father refused.

During a hearing at Belfast Crown Court, it emerged that Gavin Gerard Francis Wilson visited his dying father in a nursing home last week accompanied by prison staff.

It was on these grounds that an application to visit his father later this week was refused by Judge Sandra Crawford.

Crown prosecutor David McClean said that Wilson was currently facing six charges linked to an alleged hijacking which took place outside the Sunflower Bar on Kent Street last April.

Wilson, 23, from Lady Street in Belfast, has 72 previous offences on his criminal record, which prompted Mr McClean to express fears of Wilson absconding if he was granted bail to visit his father. The prosecutor also spoke of breaches of bail in the past.

Mr McClean revealed that Wilson was allowed to visit his terminally ill father in a nursing home last week accompanied by prison guards, adding there was “nothing to indicate there has been a significant change” or deterioration in his father’s condition since then.

Defence barrister Barry Gibson revealed his client’s father was 49, was “critically and terminally ill” and was being moved from the Royal Victoria Hospital to a hospice this week.

He said Crown fears of absconding were “a little harsh”, saying that at all times during the visit Wilson would be accompanied by prison staff.

Refusing the application, Judge Crawford said Wilson had the benefit of seeing his father last week and that since then there had been no change in his father’s condition.