Newtownards man accused of threatening to kill Health Minister Robin Swann expected to apply for bail

Newtownards man accused of threatening to kill Health Minister Robin Swann expected to apply for bail

A 44-year-old Newtownards man charged with making a threat to kill Robin Swann as part of an alleged campaign of harassment against the Health Minister is expected to make a new bail application on March 9, a defence lawyer said.

The case was briefly mentioned at Newtownards Magistrates Court on Wednesday.

William Herbert Hawkes, with an address listed as Ardmillan Crescent, is accused in relation to January 22 this year.

The defendant is also accused of harassing Mr Swann and improper use of electronic communications on January 22.

The charges relate to a report of online abuse towards Mr Swann.

The defendant had previously been charged with making a threat to kill the Health Minister; harassment and improper use of electronic communications regarding an alleged Twitter post in November last year which allegedly said: 'I would advocate the killing of Northern Ireland's Health Minister'.

In relation to the January accusations a police officer told a previous hearing, when a judge refused bail, that in a social media message Hawkes allegedly said: 'Never in my life have I ever had such an overwhelming desire to kill such an individual'.

The previous hearing was told by a defence solicitor that the defendant had a "psychiatric breakdown".

  • Main picture: Health Minister Robin Swann.