A YORKSHIRE man was extradited from England to Cork to face charges of assault causing harm to a man in Rearden’s nightclub and again shortly afterwards out on Washington St more than three years ago.
At Cork District Court, Billye Ajayi, of Williamson Gardens, Ripon, North Yorkshire, has asked to be released on bail, saying he had to work to pay his mortgage and support his family and would come back to court if granted bail to return home.
Garda Shane Coakley, who investigated the allegation of two counts of assault causing harm, objected to bail being granted to the 29-year-old.
Frank Buttimer, solicitor, said Mr Ajayi had been working in Cork at the relevant time in May 2019 and had not been charged when he returned to Yorkshire.
Garda Coakley agreed that this was correct. However, he said he had made contact with Mr Ajayi by phone on a number of occasions and that the defendant would not come back to Cork for the purpose of being charged and dealing with the case. Garda Coakley said Mr Ajayi also fought the extradition through the courts in the UK, although the legal challenge was unsuccessful.
Mr Ajayi was formally arrested last Friday, November 25, at Heathrow Airport in London and was ultimately brought before Cork District Court in respect of the two counts of assault.
Garda Coakley outlined the seriousness of the alleged assaults as part of his objection to bail. He said it was alleged that Mr Ajayi had the torch from his phone pointed at the feet of the injured party in Rearden’s at around 1am and there was some altercation.
“It is alleged that the defendant punched him in the jaw and was escorted from the premises,” Garda Coakley said.
The second alleged assault occurred on Washington St when Mr Ajayi, in the company of an unnamed second man, is accused of punching the injured party a number of times in the face. The defendant had his shirt pulled off him and he was later seen in the area with no shirt on him in the early hours of that morning, May 19, 2019.
The injured party allegedly sustained factures to the left and right of his lower jaw.
The defendant said he did not return to Cork previously because of the Covid pandemic and that he challenged the extradition warrant on legal advice. He said that when the challenge proved unsuccessful, he travelled voluntarily to Heathrow Airport.
“They (employers) won’t be able to keep my job open for me. I won’t be able to pay my mortgage.
"I have never missed a court appearance. I was asked to go to Ireland but couldn’t travel because of the Covid pandemic.
“I would do anything (in terms of complying with conditions if granted bail),” said Mr Ajayi.
Sergeant John Kelleher cross-examined the defendant, saying: “You could have said, ‘I am voluntarily going back to Ireland,’ but you chose not to.”
Mr Ajayi said:“I couldn’t go back due to the Covid pandemic.”
Judge Olann Kelleher said the two charges of assault causing harm were serious alleged offences. “I cannot be satisfied he will turn up in court if given bail,” he said.
The defendant was remanded in custody until December 5.