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Court News : Derry man jailed after being refused 'one last chance'

A man with 134 previous convictions has been jailed for eight months at Derry Magistrate's Court for a series of offences.

Derry courthouse

A man with 134 previous convictions has been jailed for eight months at Derry Magistrate's Court for a series of offences.

Gérard Patrick Mullen, 34, of Rockmills in the Strand Road area of the city, admitted a charge of criminal damage to a car, assault on a police officer and disorderly behaviour on December 14.

The court was told Mullen entered an off licence in John Street in the city and the person working there refused to serve him as he was intoxicated.

The court heard Mullen left the premises and started throwing bins at cars.

Police were called and Mullen proceeded to assault an officer and was arrested for disorderly and assaulting police.

Defence counsel, Stephen Chapman, asked that his client be given one last chance to seek help for his addiction issues.

District Judge Barney McElholm said that Mullen had 134 previous and had been given one last chance when an enhanced combination order was imposed in October.

He said that in December Mullen was so intoxicated that he could not remember anything about the incident.

During the hearing, Mullen constantly interrupted the court asking for one last chance and said he was seeking help.

Judge McElholm said that Mullen had made 'no real attempt' to get help as if he wanted to he could have signed himself in somewhere.

The judge went on to say that if politicians were serious about tackling addiction issues they would 'find out what works and what doesn't work.'

He said 'these people can't help themselves' and went on to say there was 'no joined up thinking' and wondered about the intellectual capacity 'of those who govern us or is it they just can't spare the time.'

He said with a new Justice Minister in place there may be new legislation.

Mullen was sentenced to eight months in prison.

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