A west Belfast grandmother accused of two “alarming” offences linked to a domestic incident has been granted bail with a warning that any breach will result in a return to custody.
Philomena Phyllis Anne Hillan, from Norglen Parade, is accused of breaking into a house armed with a knife with the intention of causing the male resident – her daughter’s partner – grievous bodily harm.
Belfast Magistrates’ Court heard that an independent witness claimed they saw Hillan climbing through the window of another house on Norglen Parade on Easter Monday.
The complainant in the case, who is the father of Hillan’s 18-month-old grandchild, claimed he was forced to hide in a bedroom while a knife-wielding Hillan threatened to kill him.
He also said that during Monday’s incident, Hillen “wrecked the place”.
The 55-year-old is facing two charges arising from the incident – trespassing the house at Norglen Parade with the intention of causing GBH, and of possessing an offensive weapon, namely a knife.
A solicitor for Hillan said that while she admitted being in the house, she denies she was armed with a knife.
The court heard Hillan had been in custody since her arrest on Monday. When an application for bail was made, Deputy District Judge Liam McStay was told that police were objecting to her release.
A police constable revealed that on Easter Monday, the complainant contacted the PSNI and said Hillan was in his house and was “wrecking the place”. He said Hillan had a knife, and that he was forced to hide in a bedroom.
He said at one point Hillan banged the bedroom door and said “open the door, I am going to kill you”.
He also claimed she caused damage in the downstairs area of the house, including slashing the types of a bicycle.
The policeman said bail was opposed for a number of reasons, including concerns about her alcohol and medication consumption which he felt could lead to further offences committed against the complainant.
The officer branded Monday’s incident as “domestic related” and said Hillan had expressed concerns about “drug-taking in front of her grandchild”.
Hillan’s solicitor told Mr McStay that the allegation regarding the knife was being “vigorously contested”.
He also said an element of the history between Hillan and the complainant was linked to the complainant “goading” Hillan about the death of her brother.
Confirming “alleged drug taking was the reason why she went round to the house in the first place”, the solicitor said that after spending two days in custody Hillan “now knows there are alternative methods” in dealing with issues surrounding her grandchild and “these avenues should be pursued, rather than taking the matter into her own hands”.
Asking that Hillan be granted bail, the solicitor put forward an address in Dunmurry.
Judge McStay branded the charges faced by Hillan as “alarming”, saying she went round to the house “in a rage”.
Addressing the grandmother, Mr McStay told her he would grant her bail with a number of conditions imposed.
He told her: “If you are prepared to stick to the conditions, I am prepared to grant you bail. This is a one-time offer. If you breach bail, you will go back into custody.”
Hillan was ordered to reside at the suitable address in Dunmurry, stay out of the Norglen area, told to observe a 10pm to 7am curfew and was also banned from consuming alcohol.
She was also told to appear before the same court next month.