20 February 2006

Bail breach sees man sent to jail


A man accused of being involved in an attack on a friend of murder victim Robert McCartney has been returned to prison for breaking his bail terms.

Samuel Caskey, 43, formerly of Seaforde Court, allegedly intimidated Sinead Commander while in the Short Strand area, which he is barred from entering.

Mr Caskey - who denies assaulting her husband Jeff Commander - told the High Court he did not intimidate her.

However, Lord Justice Shiel said he accepted Mrs Commander's evidence.

The accused was granted bail in November last year but ordered not go into the Short Strand area, where the Commander family live.

Mr Commander, who was a friend of 33-year-old murder victim Robert McCartney, was attacked on 12 September last year by seven men using sewer rods and iron bars.

A Crown lawyer said the accused had broken his bail conditions after admitting going to his flat in the Short Strand to collect mail and while there intimidated Mr Commander's wife.

Mrs Commander told the court that Mr Caskey spotted her car sitting at a junction and swung his car into the road before laughing at her.

She said she drove to her mother's house a short distance away but, while en route, the defendant sped out of a roadway, straight at her car, before stopping and laughing out of his window at her again.

A defence solicitor put it to Mrs Commander that she "hated" Mr Caskey and was "telling the court lies".

He told the court Mr Caskey had "taken the chance" to collect his mail and that the encounter between the two had been "chance and not premeditated".

Revoking bail, judge Lord Justice Shiel, said: "In preferring her evidence to his, I accept hers in its entirety... and entirely reject his evidence."

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