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Man is set to go to Crown Court for ‘sending Valentine’s Day card’

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A man accused of breaching a Violent Offences Prevention Order (VOPO) by sending a Valentine’s Card is set to have the case dealt with at the Crown Court.

Patrick Joseph Johnston (23), whose address was given as Maghaberry Prison, appeared at Coleraine Magistrates Court via video link from Magilligan Prison.

The charge accuses the defendant of doing an act he was prohibited from doing under the terms of the VOPO.

It was alleged he sent the card to a named female.

The charge says the offence was allegedly detected between March 1 and March 8 this year at Magilligan Prison.

The defendant faces a second charge relating to the same time period of breaching a Restraining Order by sending the Valentine’s Card.

No further details were given to the court.

Johnston has yet to enter either guilty or not guilty pleas to the charges.

At court, a prosecutor said the case is proceeding on indictment and papers for a Preliminary Enquiry – the legal step to send the matter to the higher court – were being prepared.

The defendant was further remanded in custody and the case was adjourned to July to fix a date for the Preliminary Enquiry.

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