A HELENSBURGH man’s bid to gain his festive freedom after five months behind bars has been turned down.

Patrick Kelly had been locked up to await trial on a charge of being in possession of a knife in the centre of the town.

The 26-year-old appeared via video link at Dumbarton Sheriff Court on December 22.

Prosecutors allege Mr Kelly was in possession of “an article which had a blade or was sharply pointed” – namely a knife – without a reasonable excuse in West Clyde Street on July 20.

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Mr Kelly denies the charges.

His solicitor, Marisa Borland, told the hearing that her client was pleading not guilty to the charge against him.

Ms Borland also said she had been instructed to make an application for Mr Kelly to be granted bail, and provided a bail address at a property in the town’s East Princes Street.

She told the court Mr Kelly had been remanded in custody since he appeared in court the day after the alleged offence, and said her client hoped to be released on bail in order to look after his father.

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Meghan Glancey, prosecuting, said the Crown was ready for the case to go to trial, and formally opposed the defence’s bail application.

Sheriff William Gallacher set a trial date for early March; Mr Kelly will remain in custody until then.

When the trial takes place, it will do so with Mr Kelly, the sheriff, prosecution and defence lawyers and witnesses all present in court – but the jury will watch proceedings via a video link from the Odeon cinema complex at Braehead, to ensure compliance with the rules on social distancing.

The first ‘remote jury’ trials at Dumbarton Sheriff Court are due to be held in February.

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