08 Dec 2021

Derry man appears in court charged with damaging six cars over the weekend

Derry courthouse

Derry courthouse at Bishop Street.

A Derry man charged with causing criminal damage to six vehicles has been refused bail at the city’s Magistrate’s Court.

James Anthony Doherty, 25, of Capall Court has been charged with six counts of criminal damage, possession of an offensive weapon namely planks of wood with nails and disorderly behaviour.

The alleged incident took place in Leafair Park on Saturday, August 1.

Police objected to bail saying the defendant was already on court bail when he committed the new offences at the weekend.

He also breached bail by being intoxicated.

The incident was said to be ‘similar’ to that for which he was already granted bail on July 1.

A police officer told the court that Doherty has ‘no regard’ for any bail conditions imposed by the court.

Defence barrister Eoghan Devlin asked the how many statements had been made and what evidence was outstanding.

A Public Prosecution Service (PPS) informed him that three victims’ statements and cost of damage to the vehicles had to be gathered.

Mr Devlin said it was ‘very concerning’ that there was not only a breach of bail but it appeared that new offences had been committed.

The defence barrister believed that one of the witnesses knows the defendant and another was a police officer which amounts to a ‘very strong case against him’.

“It’s not inevitable but very possible he will receive a custodial sentence,” he added.

With the ‘best will in the world it is a case that could creep on’, Mr Devlin said, but he is keen that it doesn't.

He suggested ‘very rigorous’ bail conditions could be imposed including a tag, stricter curfew and an order to sign at the police station.

The defendant interjected via video link to say that he ‘lost a family member’.

District Judge Barney McElholm said there are victims and he was given a chance on July 1 ‘yet he goes out with alcohol again and commits serious offences’.

“At the moment he is not fit to be out and about, it was completely and utterly inexplicable behaviour,” he added.

Bail was revoked on the original matter and refused in relation to the new offences.

Mr Devlin informed the court that he might be in a position to provide an update towards the end of the week.

The case was listed for a court hearing on Thursday, August 6.

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