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Birchington criminal's bid to have curfew relaxed for stay at Bridgewood Manor hotel in Chatham


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A criminal on house arrest after breaching a restraining order has had his curfew relaxed so he can perform best-man duties at a friend's wedding.

Robert O’Reilly was electronically tagged in September and ordered to stay at home every night after leaving threatening voicemails on the phone of a woman he was banned from contacting.

Robert O'Reilly, of Birchington, had been hoping to stay two nights at the Bridgewood Manor Hotel in Chatham
Robert O'Reilly, of Birchington, had been hoping to stay two nights at the Bridgewood Manor Hotel in Chatham

The restrictions - which last until January - prevent the 28-year-old from leaving his house in Stonebarn Avenue, Birchington, between 7pm and 5am each day.

But that didn't stop him attempting to have the curfew relaxed this weekend so he could attend a friend's wedding at Bridgewood Manor in Chatham and enjoy a two-night stay at the four-star hotel.

Margate magistrates rejected his bid for the overnight stays, but have allowed him to stay out until midnight on the day of the nuptials, this Sunday.

His barrister, Scott Neilson, had argued: “It is so that he can attend a wedding where he is to be best man.

“He appeared on September 27 before this court for three breaches of restraining orders, and the curfew was imposed for four months.

“His friend is getting married. As far as the matter is concerned, Mr O’Reilly instructs me that he would be attending on a Saturday and returning on a Monday.

“The wedding’s at 4pm on Sunday. He would require the Saturday because the wedding parties are meeting that day.”

Agreeing to give O-Reilly a five-hour reprieve on Sunday, chair of the bench Dr Rachel Brody said: “We have carefully considered this application.

“We will not be granting the application as requested. However, we will vary the curfew on Sunday to Monday.

“This will allow Mr O’Reilly to carry out his duties as a best-man and to carry out the remainder of his curfew.”

Following his conviction in September, O’Reilly was given a 120-day prison sentence, suspended for a year.

He had admitted messaging his victim in July 2020, in breach of a restraining order imposed the year before.

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