A prisoner who demanded to be released on bail has sworn at a judge who was trying to explain the process of applying to be released.
Andrew McCandless (29) from Castleview, Gilford is facing five shoplifting charges and has been remanded in custody since his arrest.
In order of alleged occurrence, he is accused of stealing goods worth £18.85 from a Spar on 12 May.
This is followed by the alleged theft of wine costing £27 from Tesco on both 1 and 2 June.
Finally on 6 June, McCandless is accused two thefts of goods – one totalling £8 from a Spar and the other totalling £10.85 from a Centra.
During a video-link appearance at Armagh Magistrates Court, McCandless represented himself insisting he neither wanted nor required a solicitor.
He said, “I am in jail now almost a month and I am not a guilty prisoner. I want released today as I have things to do and people to see. I do not want to be here over the summer.”
After asking Deputy District Judge Trevor Browne’s name, McCandless continued, “This is the way it is. I’m representing myself. I do not wish to have a solicitor and I do not wish to be here any longer. I want released from here today on bail and that is my only demand.”
A prosecuting lawyer informed the court she had not been made aware of a bail application in advance and so did not have any indication as to whether police would be objecting or not.
When she made passing reference to the charges, McCandless said, “Not guilty.”
The prosecutor suggested a two week adjournment during which she would try to expedite matters to allow bail to be considered and have police in attendance to provide their views on the suitability of release.
McCandless responded, “That’s not good enough for me. I am not guilty.”
The judge felt an adjournment was appropriate, but McCandless said, “So you’re telling me, with your authority you cannot release me on bail today?”
Judge Brown advised the case would be listed again on 19 July when the court and police would be in a better position to address the issue of bail.
Enraged, McCandless jumped up from his seat told the judge, “You’re a worthless b*****d” before storming from the video-link booth.
A prison officer apologised for McCandless behaviour to which Judge Brown remarked, “It’s quite alright. He’s still in there anyway.”