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11 Aug 2022

Man toppled fence and hit car with flagstone in drunken Co Derry 'rampage'

Defence said the consumption of alcohol was a factor in the incident.

Man toppled fence and hit car with flagstone in drunken Co Derry 'rampage'

Magherafelt Magistrates Court.

A 24-year-old man collapsed a stranger's fence before lobbing a flagstone at a passing car after a night spent drinking in Magherafelt, a court has heard.

Thomas Mullin, with an address at Hillbank Fold, James St, Omagh, appeared via video link for sentencing at Magherafelt Magistrates Court on Wednesday.

The court heard that police had attended an address at Piney Hill, Magherafelt, at around 11.40pm on December 26 2019 and spoke to a resident in the area.

He reported that a male had 'scaled' his garden fence, causing it to collapse under his weight, before making off.

Police went off to search for the defendant, but on the way were flagged down by a motorist who had been parked at the side of the road.

He reported that a male had thrown a large object at his vehicle, causing damage on impact, before making off in the direction of a nearby Tesco store.

Police then located the defendant in the vicinity of the Tesco store and the original complainant identified him.

The following day – December 27 – police were contacted by a resident who had heard a disturbance outside her property the previous night.

On inspection the following morning, she noted a flagstone was missing from outside her door, remnants of which matched damage done to the motorist's car.

Defence said this was an 'extremely unfortunate' series of events before which the defendant had had 'far too much to drink'.

They said Mullin was 'extremely embarrassed' by the incident and had expressed remorse, and that without alcohol the incident would not have taken place.

Counsel's suggestion that the matter could be dealt with by way of conditional discharge was met with incredulity by Judge Mullan, whose response was: “Absolutely not.”

She said the event could have had 'very serious consequences' and that the defendant was lucky not to be facing a custodial sentence.

Describing the incident as a 'rampage', Judge Mullan indicated she was mindful to impose a suspended sentence, at which point counsel requested a week to discuss requesting a pre-sentence report.

Judge Mullan denied the request, directing the defence to either request the report or have it dealt with on the day.

Counsel requested the pre-sentence report, and Judge Mullan fixed the case for October 5 to allow the report to be completed.

“I suggest your client start to gather some money together,” she told the defence.

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