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Man accused of threatening to kill former partner claimed she would not let him get his budgies

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A man accused of making a threat to kill his former partner claimed she would not let him get his pet budgies from her home.

John Jeffrey Douglas (38), of Benevenagh Drive in Limavady, is alleged to have committed offences in the run up to last Christmas.

He faces several charges including breaching a Violent Offences Prevention Order at Alexander Road in Limavady.

Douglas is also accused of making a threat to kill the woman and attempting to damage the front door of her property.

He is also charged with harassment.

The defendant appeared at Coleraine Magistrates Court on Monday via video link from Maghaberry Jail where he had been on remand for eleven weeks.

During a bail hearing, a police officer said she strongly objected to Douglas being released on bail saying he had 138 previous convictions with a history of breaching bail and non-molestation orders.

Defence solicitor Derwin Harvey said that since being made the subject of a Violent Offences Prevention Order in August 2017, the defendant had been in a relationship with the alleged injured party.

Mr Harvey said the couple had fallen out and Douglas had left without his pet budgies.

The solicitor claimed the woman would not return the birds and Douglas contacted the PSNI but was told it was not a police matter.

Mr Harvey said it was alleged that whilst trying to get the birds the defendant had kicked a door and also phoned the woman and sent her text messages.

At one stage it was alleged the defendant told the woman: “I’m going to kill you”.

The solicitor said the defendant had asked the woman to make sure she fed the birds.

Douglas also faces other charges from last December including burglary of a house at Grange Park in Limavady and stealing keys and cash.

He is also charged with driving whilst disqualified; taking a Suzuki Vitara without authority; using the vehicle without insurance at Dunhill Road near Coleraine and theft of a number plate.

Releasing the defendant on bail, District Judge Peter King said he had spent the equivalent of a six months sentence in prison.

He accepted the defendant had a bad record and an unhappy bail history and said the only reason he was granting bail was because of the time spent on remand and there had been slow progress by police in the case.

Douglas was released on his own bail of £750 to Benevenagh Drive and is to have no contact with anyone involved in his cases.

He is not to drink alcohol; he has a 7pm-7am curfew; he is electronically tagged and he is not to travel in vehicles apart from public bus services.

The case was adjourned to Limavady Magistrates Court on March 20.

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