Northern Ireland

Drug addicts denied bail to live with nuns

The High Court
Image caption The High Court refused a request by the men to move into a convent

Two heroin addicts, who claim they broke into a car to keep warm, were denied permission to live at a convent by the High Court on Monday.

Eoghan McKillion, 30, and Roman Palenik, 28, pleaded guilty to interfering with a vehicle and attempted theft in Dungannon.

They applied for bail to stay with the Sisters of Mercy in County Armagh.

Their barrister Michael Boyd said it was part of an attempt to break their drug dependency.

Mr Boyd told court: "The nuns who run the convent are aware of these two individuals.

"They know they have drug problems and wish to provide them with that address pending sentence."

But Lord Justice Higgins refused their application and upheld a district judge's decision that both men should remain in custody.

Mr McKillion, of Drumcondra Road, Dublin, and Mr Palenik, a Slovakian national with an address at Upper Dorset Street, Dublin, were found in the car early on November 24.

Crown counsel Nicola Auret said they claimed to have broken into the vehicle to take shelter from the cold night.

Mr McKillion is also further charged with assaulting one of two men who tried to restrain him at the scene.

The court was told he punched the victim twice amid attempts to stop him from escaping before police arrived.

Michael Boyd, defending, said both his clients admitted to long-term heroin dependency.

He told the court: "Both came up to Northern Ireland in late November in an attempt to break their addiction because living in Dublin they found it impossible to conquer their problems.

"They had nowhere to stay that night and ended up breaking into the car. There were freezing conditions."

They are due to be sentenced next month, their lawyer said.