'on the run' | 

Man arrested after Paddy Barnes fight for alleged shooting banned from driving again

Speed merchant Connair Bloomer was told by an unimpressed judge this week he would not be allowed to drive for 12 weeks

Paddy Barnes. Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

Tyrone man Conor Bloomer who was arrested at Paddy Barnes' Professional boxing debut

Steven MooreSunday World

A man arrested at a Paddy Barnes fight for an alleged shooting after going on the run in Dublin has been banned from driving again.

Speed merchant Connair Bloomer was told by an unimpressed judge this week he would not be allowed to drive for 12 weeks after he was caught doing 78pmh on a road with a limit of 60.

The 32-year-old, who’s own barrister described his driving record as “very poor”, appeared at Dungannon Magistrates Court on Wednesday to plead guilty to a charge of using excess speed earlier this year.

Bloomer has a series of criminal convictions, mostly for driving offences, but he has also been convicted of disorderly behaviour and the much more serious charge of wounding.

In 2013 he appeared in court in Dungannon charged with maliciously wounding a former friend with intent to do him grievous bodily harm as well as a charge of common assault on the same victim.

He pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of maliciously wounding, was found not guilty of GBH with intent and the assault charge was ‘left on the books’.

For the attack, which it’s understood a glass was used, he received a combination order of 18 months’ probation and was ordered to carry out 100 hours’ community service.

But he was once arrested in dramatic circumstances at a boxing match in Belfast involving Paddy Barnes, after going on the run across the border.

He was wanted in connection with a shooting in Cookstown in 2016 and though he was eventually charged the subsequent trial later collapsed and all charges connected to the shooting were withdrawn.

Tyrone man Conor Bloomer who was arrested at Paddy Barnes' Professional boxing debut

Details of his arrest, at what was Barnes’ debut as a professional fighter, emerged during a fourth failed bail hearing at the High Court in Belfast.

Prosecutors told the court Bloomer, who was 26 at the time, had been on the run for five months after the gun attack on a man at a house in Cookstown.

The 35-year-old victim was shot in the legs when two men wearing balaclavas entered the property in the Drumcree area of the town last June.

Bloomer, of Drum Road in Cookstown, was charged with attempted grievous bodily harm with intent, aggravated burglary and possession of a firearm in suspicious circumstances.

A second man, convicted thug Mark Hay, was accused of firing the shots and was charged with attempted murder and other related offences.

A witness allegedly identified them returning to the house following an earlier row.

Robin Steer, prosecuting, claimed Bloomer went on the run across the border following the attack.

Detectives then discovered his plan to be at the fight staged at Belfast’s Titanic Exhibition Centre in November 2016.

“He was at large for five months, and police received information that he was going to be attending the Paddy Barnes boxing match,” Mr Steer said.

“They attended and arrested him there.”

Defence counsel argued that Bloomer should be released on bail due to delays in the case – despite acknowledging his own client made himself unavailable for so long.

He was refused bail but the case collapsed a year later when one of the main witnesses refused to give evidence, telling cops she was in fear for her life.

His co-accused, 34-year-old drug dealer Mark Hay, died a year later after a suspected overdose from his own batch of contaminated cocaine.

Connair Bloomer runs a number of businesses including a lucrative dog sales business and these businesses fund a luxury lifestyle which includes regular trips to Marbella and Barcelona.

He has become good friends with several Dublin-based boxers including controversial boxer Sean ‘Big Sexy’ Turner who has been seen north of the border in recent months.

The heavyweight had been on the books of Dublin crime lord Daniel Kinahan’s MTK Global Gym.

Bloomer was caught driving too fast in his white Mercedes in Cookstown on April 28 this year.

Police conducted a laser speed checkpoint on the 60mph Moneymore Road and saw a white Mercedes travelling at 78pmh.

Police stopped the vehicle and the driver identified himself as the defendant.

Barrister Craig Patton said: “He has a very poor record for this type of offence.”

Deputy District Judge Sean O’Hare said: “This is a young man who has a history of driving offences and in particular excess speed.

“The last time he was in court he was in court for excess speed he was given a six-week disqualification and that was for an offence that was carried out in January 2021 which was dealt with in March 2021 and here we are again, a year later, a year later in court and he’s still driving with excess speed and he has other points on his licence subsequently.

“For this offence there will be a disqualification of 12 weeks and a fine of £250 and I’ll allow 20 weeks to pay, a collection order and a £15 offender’s levy.”

steven.moore@sundayworld.com


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