Northern Ireland

Keith Gillespie cleared of breaching restraining order

keith gillespie Image copyright bbc
Image caption The prosecution asked that a restraining order barring Mr Gillespie from contacting his ex-partner be extended

Former Manchester United and Northern Ireland footballer Keith Gillespie has been cleared of breaching a restraining order against his ex-partner.

Mr Gillespie, from Ballycrochan Avenue, Bangor, County Down, had been charged with breaching the order, which barred him from contacting his former partner.

The breach was alleged to have occurred on Hamilton Road in Bangor on 17 February 2014.

The 39-year-old appeared at Newtownards Magistrates' Court on Monday.

Menacing character

The prosecution told the court it would offer no evidence against the former footballer if a restraining order against him could be extended from summer 2016 to summer 2017.

Mr Gillepsie was also alleged to have asked his friend, David Robert Brown, 44, of Silverstream Drive in Bangor, to send "worrying" messages to his ex-partner.

Mr Brown was listed to contest a charge of improper use of a public communications system to send a message of menacing character, but the prosecution also agreed to drop the charge against Mr Brown.

The court heard Mr Brown was bound to keep the peace for 12 months to the sum of £500.

'Won't go well'

A defence lawyer for Mr Brown said he would accept the binding over, but added this did not amount to an admission of guilt.

Last week, Mr Gillespie pleaded not guilty to breaching another restraining order by having contact with his former partner on High Street, Bangor, on 24 June 2014, less than two weeks after the order began.

The judge accepted the prosecution's actions, telling the court: "We will do it on this basis, that this man does not appear in this court list again.

"If he does, it won't go well for him."

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