Derry man charged with ‘making use of an imitation firearm to resist arrest’

Derry courthouse

Derry courthouse at Bishop Street.

A Derry man charged with assaulting a woman is ‘lucky’ police didn’t react with greater force after he reached for an imitation firearm when officers arrived to arrest him, his defence solicitor has said.

Dean Darren Declan Dillon, 24, of no fixed abode in the city, has been charged with common assault of a female and stealing £80 from the same woman on November 12.

He is further charged with possession of Class C drug Xanax, being concerned in the supply of a Class C drug and making use of a firearm or imitation firearm to resist arrest on November 13.

On Friday November 13 it was reported that the defendant had assaulted a female and stole money.

The alleged injured party was at a property with her friends who invited Dillon around.

When asked why the offence wasn’t reported immediately the woman said she didn’t want to accuse someone of theft without ‘checking it out’.

A police officer said the woman pushed the defendant out of her flat after the assault.

Initially, the PSNI could not locate Dillon but he was found at his mother’s house.

The 24-year-old was permitted to gather his belongings and a police officer followed him to a bedroom

The court heard there was a ‘handgun’ sitting on a chair and the defendant reached for it.

Police officers ‘immediately feared for their own safety’ and Dillon was forced out of the way while the ‘firearm was secured’, a police officer said.

It was quickly ascertained that it was a pellet gun.

While in the room police noticed a bag labelled ‘Xanax’ with five white tablets inside.

A police officer said that after further searches eight pink tablets were found, 114 deal bags and two small scales.

At Strand Road Police Station the 24-year-old denied the assault or that he sold drugs saying the Xanax was for personal use.

The court was told that the defendant has 19 previous convictions, five related to drugs.

Objecting to bail, a police officer said he believes Dillon is addicted to drugs and will continue to reoffend.

Enquiries are ongoing in relation to drugs supply.

Defence solicitor Paddy MacDermott said his client maintains that he was attacked with a samurai sword and defended himself.

Addressing the incident with the pellet gun, he added that Dillon was ‘foolhardy to say the least’ and ‘it’s lucky we’re not dealing with a more serious incident’.

“He would have been the victim if that was the case.  It’s lucky police didn’t use stronger force.

“It didn’t pose a danger to officers but to him for going near it,” the defence solicitor said.

Mr MacDermott told the court there was ‘nothing sinister’ or ‘nefarious’ about his actions.

The 24-year-old has an addiction to drugs, he said, and is not involved in supply.

His mother has sought to get him help and Mr MacDermott asked for his client to be bailed with stringent conditions attached.

District Judge Barney McElholm granted Dillon his own bail of £500.

He will be curfewed from 8pm-7am, must not possess a mobile phone or internet enabled device and was warned that any breach will result in him being remanded into custody.

The case will appear before the court again on December 10.

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