Ballybane man bailed on Midlands assault charges until next month

A man who terrorised a woman into revealing the whereabouts of his ex-girlfriend’s home, and who then broke into it to assault her, was released on continuing bail until February 19 under a number of conditions.

This remand was compounded by the fact that the accused - Joe Crampton (22 ) of Castlepark estate, Ballybane, Galway - is also charged with a hammer assault on a man whilst on bail for the first offence.

Inspector Nicholas Farrell gave evidence of the inital allegation first, telling Judge Seamus Hughes in Athlone how a Ms Rhianna Moore picked up her boyfriend and the accused from outside Supermacs in Moate at 1.45am on April 24, and that Ms Moore was very good friends with Ms Teresa McCann, the ex-girlfriend of Crampton.

“Judge, he immediately began shouting at her, looking for his ex,” said the inspector.

“In the presence of the driver’s boyfriend?” asked Judge Hughes.

“ Yes, judge. He became very violent. He threatened to burn her car and slit her mother’s throat. He smashed the rear window with his fist, and forced Ms Moore to drive into Willow Park in Athlone where Ms McCann lived,” he explained.

“When they arrived, he started banging on the front door, and smashed the glass with his fist. When the door was opened he was shouting ‘Who’s here with you?’ He then grabbed her [Ms McCann] by the throat and pushed her into a bedroom where he spat blood in her face and threatened to kill her,” the inspector continued.

“When he was distracted Ms McCann ran out the door for her friend’s car; however, Joe Crampton ran out and jumped on the bonnet, cracking the windscreen and wing mirror. When he got off, they drove straight to Athlone Garda Station,” said Inspector Farrell, who added that the damage to the car was put at over €2,000, and that Crampton required 23 stitches in his arm.

Noting a condition of his bail was to have no contact with any of the witnesses, Judge Hughes asked if he had spoken to either, and Crampton claimed that both women were contacting him “every month”, and made some allegations that cannot be reported.

Inspector Farrell then told the court that, during a row between two rival gangs at a private party on the Dublin Road, Athlone on Hallowe’en night, Crampton is alleged to have hit a James O’Reilly in the head with a hammer, and that this “alleged offence was committed whilst on bail”.

“I remember this. So vicious was this assault that I heard about it on national radio. This man’s life was in danger,” noted the judge.

At this point alert gardaí at the door of the court noted the older brother of the injured party attempt to enter, but refused him access on the pretext his phone was ringing.

Judge Hughes then remanded Crampton on continuing bail until February 19, under the existing conditions and curfew, and gave gardaí leave to re-enter for any breaches.


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