Newtownards man charged with making threats to kill Health Minister Robin Swann is expected to make new bail application

Newtownards man charged with making threats to kill Health Minister Robin Swann is expected to make new bail application

A 44-year-old Newtownards man charged with making threats to kill Health Minister Robin Swann is expected to make a new bail application on April 13.

William Herbert Hawkes, of Ardmillan Crescent, appeared at Newtownards Magistrates Court on via video link from prison, where he is on remand, on Wednesday.

Hawkes is accused in relation to January 22 this year.

As well as the threat to kill allegation, the defendant is accused of harassing Mr Swann and improper use of electronic communications on January 22.

The defendant also faces similar charges relating to the Health Minister November 15 last year.

The charges relate to reports of online abuse towards Mr Swann.

A prosecutor said phone analysis is needed.

A defence lawyer said the defendant had been "racking up custody time on this" and the cases were "starting to drag on slightly".

The defence solicitor he believed the defendant had forwarded phone passwords.

The lawyer said there had been "some delay" in obtaining Hawkes medical records.

The solicitor added: "This matter related to the Health Minister Robin Swann. We now, essentially, are in a new dispensation in respect of the public health crisis that existed at that time and that also may figure in any change of circumstances".

  • Main picture: Health Minister Robin Swann.