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Court appearance Man (31) facing trial accused of kidnapping and falsely imprisoning female jogger

The woman was running in Kensington Park, just off Long Lane in Portadown at around 9.15am that morning when she was grabbed.


Jeffrey Kelly

Jeffrey Kelly

Jeffrey Kelly

An man has been ordered to stand trial accused of kidnapping a lone female jogger he bundled into the boot of his car.

Appearing at Craigavon Magistrates Court by videolink from prison, 31-year-old Jeffrey Kelly confirmed that he understood the two charges against him.

Kelly, from Brookehill in Lurgan, is in custody accused of the kidnap and false imprisonment of a woman on 10 May last year.

Previous courts have heard how the woman was “dragged kicking and screaming” to the boot of a car and twice managed to escape from it after she was allegedly targeted by Kelly who, according to the police case, had been “stalking” lone females that Sunday morning.

The consequences for her could have been a lot worse “except for her bravery and determination,” a Detective told the court when Kelly was originally charged.

The woman was running in Kensington Park, just off Long Lane in Portadown at around 9.15am that morning when she was grabbed.

She managed to run away while the male, allegedly Kelly, drove off in a red Audi A4 which is believed to have been on the Ballygargan Road in Portadown a short time later.

The officer outlined how it was the police case that Kelly had been “stalking” other females on Sunday morning before he allegedly snatched the victim, claiming “the suspect had a desire to prey upon lone females and we believe that he poses a serious risk to the public.”

Turning to the incident itself, the officer described how the victim was waking past an alleyway when she was grabbed by a male and dragged “kicking and screaming” towards a red Audi which had been reversed up to the alleyway and left with its boot open.

“She states that she was dragged for about 21 metres to the parked car,” said the cop adding “she was put into the boot by the male” who she described as being about 6’, average build, blonde hair with stubble and wearing dark clothes and a dark hoodie.

The woman managed to get out but her attacker “forced her back in” and as she continued to fight back fiercely, “she managed to kick her way out for a second time” and run away.

A member of the public who heard screaming saw a red Audi A4 driving away while the victim managed to note the registration plate and the court heard that following a police appeal on social media, other women have come forward because “they believe that they were being stalked by this male.”

Police enquiries on the registration plate brought police to Kelly who was arrested, interviewed and picked out of a police video identification parade by the woman he is alleged to have kidnapped.

The court heard that when police arrived at his house, there was “dark clothing” being dried and Kelly told cops his mother had washed it that morning “because it was dirty.”

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He denied any involvement in the random snatching, provided police with two alibi witnesses and claimed there were “at least four” other cars similar to his in the local area.

During a brief Preliminary Enquiry on Friday, the legal step necessary to elevate any case to the Crown Court, a prosecuting lawyer submitted there was a Prima Facie case against Kelly, a submission conceded by defence solicitor Gabriel Ingram.

The court clerk told Kelly that although not obliged to he had the right to comment on the charges and to call evidence to the PE but he declined the opportunity.

Remanding Kelly back into custody, Deputy District Judge Chris Holmes returned the case to Craigavon Crown Court, ordering the defendant to appear for his arraignment on 8 June.

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