Man accused of golf club attack ‘fled to England’

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A Derry man accused of inflicting fractured bones in a golf club attack “disappeared” to England for four years, the High Court has heard.

Bryan Gardiner allegedly fled while on bail for a suspected assault on a man in the city back in August 2013.

The 26-year-old, of Deramore Drive in the Strathfoyle area, faces charges of attempted grievous bodily harm with intent and criminal damage to a window.

Prosecution counsel Fiona O’Kane said the incident was linked to a relationship between the injured party and a woman known to Gardiner.

The man left a property to confront Gardiner after he had allegedly head-butted and smashed a window pane, the court heard.

It was claimed that the accused then emerged from behind a car and struck him twice with a golf club, fracturing or chipping bones in his arm and ankle.

Although the alleged victim later withdrew his complaint, Mrs O’Kane confirmed that an independent witness provided an account.

Gardiner had been granted bail in February 2014, only for an arrest warrant to be issued for alleged non-compliance a month later.

“At that point he is believed to have fled to England,” the prosecutor said.

He was detained again at the start of this month over unconnected matters in the Chelmsford area.

Mrs O’Kane explained that at that point an alert came up on the PSNI’s systems.

“He had disappeared,” she told the court.

Gardiner is now separately charged with assaulting a police designated person on February 15.

He was set to mount a fresh application to be released from prison.

But his barrister, Sean Doherty, confirmed an address was no longer available.

On that basis Madam Justice McBride dismissed the bail application.