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Court: Police used CS spray to subdue Derry man at the weekend

Derry man jailed for assault on mother and father

Police had to use batons and CS spray to incapacitate a Derry man who is charged with assaulting police officers and motoring offences.

It’s also alleged that the 30-year-old man left a local doctor in a ‘very distressed’ state after making comments about where she lived as she examined him.

Gerard Given, of Circular Road in the city, has been charged with possessing an offensive weapon in a public place, namely a metal bar, driving a car when unfit through drink or drugs, and three counts of assaulting police officers.

He is further charged with threatening to kill a police officer, using a motor vehicle that was in a dangerous condition, failing to provide a specimen after driving while unfit, driving while disqualified and threats to damage property.

All offences are alleged to have been committed on Saturday, April 10.

Detailing the circumstances, a police officer said a female was approached in relation to an alleged offence when Given intervened and questioned the actions of police.

When asked for keys to a vehicle the defendant allegedly climbed up on a fence, lifted a wrench and said, ‘not one of you will be getting in this garden’.

An officer told the court that the defendant refused to moderate his behaviour.

The 30-year-old shouted ‘come on’ and police officers then drew batons and used CS spray, he added.

Given was handcuffed and taken to a police vehicle.

He continued to be aggressive, according to a police officer, shouting ‘up the IRA’ and telling officers, ‘it’s not me who has to look under my car to check for bombs before I put the wains in’.

While being conveyed to Strand Road Police Station the defendant attempted to bite police officers, the court heard.

A police officer said Given then told police, ‘I’ll watch your wife and wains being blown to bits’.

The defendant declined a preliminary breath test which amounted to a breach of bail.

Police put it to Given that he had been driving the vehicle along with the female at ‘various times during the night’.

The court was told that a rear wheel was held on with one nut.

When examined by a doctor it is alleged that he threatened to damage her property.

The medical professional concerned was said to be ‘very distressed’ after Given made ‘sly comments’ suggesting he knew where she lived as he had seen her out walking.

A police officer said the defendant was able to provide specific details about her movements.

Objecting to bail due to a risk of reoffending, a police officer said Given has 53 previous convictions and 12 previous breaches of bail.

He is also on bail for ‘quite serious offences’ and appeared in court for breaching bail at the end of March.

Defence solicitor Paddy MacDermott said his client denies drinking alcohol or driving the vehicle.

The court heard that Given has a part-time job and was being left home when the female driver got a flat tyre.

Given was in the process of fixing it, Mr MacDermott said, which is why he had a metal bar.

Something occurred between the woman and police and the defendant was in his garden when he insisted they needed an arrest warrant.

The defence solicitor added: “He wasn’t going out looking for trouble.  He accepts that he took cannabis but wouldn’t accept it was a breach."

A Crown Court trial will commence on May 17 in relation to other matters, Mr MacDermott said.

Requesting bail, he said that in recent times his client spent over a year in custody and would abide by strict conditions imposed by the court.

Deputy District Judge McStay said the defendant came before him a couple of weeks ago when, on balance, he decided to grant him bail with a ‘stern warning’.

He added that there was no reason the 30-year-old couldn’t have cooperated with police and cited in particular Given’s behaviour towards the doctor.

Bail was refused due to a risk of reoffending and the case will appear in court by way of video link from prison on April 22.

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