A former Green Party Assembly candidate has appeared in court charged with assaulting a woman just under a month before he was expected to stand for election.
Stefan Taylor, 48, from Kings Park, Cookstown was suspended by the party and pulled as their candidate for Mid Ulster less than a week before polling day.
No explanation was provided for the sudden move which came so quickly that there was no time to remove Taylor’s name from ballot papers.
A spokesperson advised the party had ceased campaigning in the Mid Ulster constituency and whilst Taylor remained on the ballot paper, “His membership of the party has been suspended. He is no longer endorsed by the Green Party NI."
Later it transpired Taylor had been charged with assaulting a woman on 11 April and was subject to bail conditions ahead of appearing before Dungannon Magistrates' Court on Wednesday.
A defence barrister entered a not guilty plea “as a holding position” on Taylor’s behalf, but stressed discussions are to take place with the Public Prosecution Service, with a view to reaching a resolution.
District Judge Michael Ranaghan noted the matter is of a domestic violence nature, therefore the new aggravator is attached to the charge.
He remanded Taylor on continuing bail to appear again on 15 June.
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