A Derry man has been remanded in custody after allegedly defecating in front of children.
Patrick McGonagle, 57, whose address was given as Old School Lane in Shantallow appeared in court on June 19 charged with breaching his bail conditions on June 17 by ‘intentionally exposing his genitals’.
The defendant had been released on bail on June 15 after being charged with common assault, namely throwing bread at a woman and attempting to grab her, and disorderly behaviour in a public place.
A police officer said that on June 17 the PSNI became aware of a video circulating online showing a man acting in an ‘indecent manner’.
It was brought to the attention of police by community representatives and family members of children who witnessed it.
McGonagle was identified in multiple reports.
The officer said the incident took place at Old School Lane where the 57-year-old was seen ‘defecating in view of children’.
A 16-year-old recorded the incident.
The officer added: “He used chip shop wrappers to wipe himself. He was extremely intoxicated.”
Police located the defendant at Old School Lane and he charged straight away.
Objecting to bail, the officer said on June 15 McGonagle was warned about his behaviour and not to be intoxicated in a public place.
The court heard the 57-year-old has 82 previous convictions and two suspended sentences.
There is an ‘extremely high risk of reoffending’, the officer added, ‘this man is incapable of not being intoxicated in a public place.’
Defence barrister Stephen Mooney said his client pleaded guilty to the offences before the court on Monday at the first opportunity and it was adjourned for a pre-sentence report.
McGonagle was not in a position to be interviewed by the police due to his level of intoxication.
Mr Mooney told the court that back in 2018/19 the 57-year-old spent a ‘very significant’ period of time in custody on remand.
He was then found ‘unfit for trial’ because of his mental capacity and the prosecution was discontinued.
The defence barrister said it is not so much a ‘fool’s pardon but a street drinker’s pardon’ as he is a well-known street drinker.
His alcoholism is being criminalised because of his inability to stay sober, he added.
Mr Mooney asked for bail to be granted with strict conditions attached.
District Judge Peter King said ‘you’re absolutely correct’ and any bail conditions would have to include a prohibition on alcohol which would set him up for ‘spectacular failure’.
He added that McGonagle may upset the ‘wrong person or group of people and find himself facing more difficulties’.
The defendant was remanded in custody due to a ‘clear risk of reoffending’ to appear by way of video link on July 6.
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