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'Scythe' attack Murder accused Joe Joyce Jnr back on the streets despite bail objections

Joyce, from Westmeath but with an address at Coolcullen Meadow in Enniskillen, was charged with murder following a row outside his house in Co Fermanagh during which John Paul McDonagh (18) suffered a fatal wound.

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Joe Joyce Jnr has been allowed out of custody

Joe Joyce Jnr has been allowed out of custody

Joe Joyce Jnr has been allowed out of custody

Murder accused Joe Joyce Jnr is back on the streets despite previous objections to his bail from police and prosecution lawyers.

This week the bare-knuckle fighter and social media star spent time washing his car with his wife as he awaits his trial.

Joyce, from Westmeath but with an address at Coolcullen Meadow in Enniskillen, was charged with murder following a row outside his house in Co Fermanagh during which John Paul McDonagh (18) suffered a fatal wound.

He was also charged with possession of an offensive weapon and wounding with intent to do grievous bodily harm.

McDonagh died in hospital last April, days after being admitted to hospital with knife wounds.

Joyce (30) got bail last summer but had to stay at an address in Belfast and was unable to join his family in a different area.

Last November a judge agreed to change the original bail address so that he could join his wife and children who had left their Fermanagh home and needed his support, it was said.

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Joe Joyce was spotted washing his car

Joe Joyce was spotted washing his car

Joe Joyce was spotted washing his car

At one point it was heard at a court hearing that Joyce was registered as homeless in Belfast.

However, a judge later agreed it was necessary for Joyce to be allowed to move to be with his wife and to support her.

After a number of possible addresses were rejected as suitable by police, it was eventually agreed to allow him move to a house rented from a private landlord.

Prosecution lawyers had objected to the request to change Joyce's bail conditions at the magistrates' court, arguing it should have gone back to the High Court.

The infamous bare-knuckle fighter faces the prospect of spending the rest of his life behind bars if convicted of McDonagh's murder.

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Joe Joyce Jnr is a well-known bare-knuckle fighter

Joe Joyce Jnr is a well-known bare-knuckle fighter

Joe Joyce Jnr is a well-known bare-knuckle fighter

A PSNI officer told a previous court hearing that Joyce told police that he "deeply regrets" that McDonagh died after the incident but told cops he did not intend to kill him and said he was attacked by three men.

A prosecution lawyer said in the hearing that the altercation began over garden fences.

"It escalated into three McDonagh males approaching Joe Joyce's house brandishing weapons and the defendant coming out of his house with what is described as a scythe."

He added that "all parties were described as attacking each other."

"John Paul McDonagh was taken to hospital with an injury to his left leg … this was described as life threatening. His brother Gerard McDonagh (36) was also brought to hospital with minor injuries but later discharged."

The violent incident was partly caught on a video in which Joyce is seen keeping a number of men at bay with the scythe.

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John Paul McDonagh died

John Paul McDonagh died

John Paul McDonagh died

The clip also shows a man in a red t-shirt lunging forward and as one man appears to collapse to the ground a voice is heard: "He's pissing blood!" McDonagh died in hospital three days later and Joyce attended at the police station the next day.

At a subsequent court hearing it was heard that he told cops how the 'Shakey' McDonaghs had been shouting abuse, insults and threats at him as they spent the afternoon drinking in their garden.

Later that evening, he alleges, they left their house and went around to Joyce's street armed with a 12-inch knife, a spade, a garden hoe and bottle of liquid, which Joyce feared contained acid or ammonia.

"This is a classic self-defence case, a very, very tragic and unsavoury incident," said a lawyer for Joyce.

Victory

"Mr Joyce said in his statement he was genuinely terrified and in fear of his life and also the lives of his family.

"He armed himself with whatever implement he could find... Mr Joyce has instructed he was acting in self defence," he added.

But a PSNI officer said that CCTV footage of the incident suggests Joyce could have fled the area but instead "made the choice to take the boys on".

"Mr Joyce does appear to goad the others on occasions by raising his arms in the air as though in a victory and one witness hears him shout 'I am the boss, it is over'," he told the court.

After death threats were made against Joyce and his family, mediators were brought in to try to prevent any further violence.

The PSNI had objected to Joyce getting bail last year.

Reference was also made to the many call-out videos Joyce had made where he "calls out members of the Travelling community for fights."

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