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11 Aug 2022

Derry woman who 'waved a knife' in Derry City shopping centre charged

The 43 year old has been charged with possessing a knife, possessing an offensive weapon with intent, criminal damage to a perspex screen and a CCTV camera and assaulting a male and a female

Derry Magistrates Court

The accused has been denied bail as she has been deemed a risk to the public

A woman who was said to have waved a knife about in a Derry shopping centre has been remanded in custody at the local Magistrate's Court today.

Gwyneth Doherty (43) of Patrick Street in Derry appeared charged with a series of offences linked to the incident.

She was charged with possessing a knife, possessing an offensive weapon with intent, criminal damage to a perspex screen and a CCTV camera and assaulting a male and a female on August 2.

She was also charged with assaulting a female on July 29.

A police officer connected the accused to the charges and opposed bail. 

The court heard that on July 29 police were called to an ongoing fight between two females in the Quayside Shopping Centre.

By the time they arrived the females had been separated.

CCTV was checked and the court was told that Doherty was seen to be involved in an argument with another woman. 

After walking away Doherty is alleged to have ran back and both women ended up on the ground.

The other female claimed Doherty had called her 'a dyke'.

The court then was told that on August 2 police were called to a report of an incident again in Quayside.

They were told a female armed with a knife was 'acting aggressively' towards members of the public.

Police were told the woman had been waving the knife in the mall and had then approached the security hut and banged the knife on the perspex screen. 

She was also alleged to have broken a CCTV camera above the hut. 

The court heard that CCTV from a local bar showed the defendant waving the knife in the face of a male standing outside the bar. 

When police went to Doherty's flat they found a knife matching the description.

The court heard that the defendant had been barred from the shopping centre. 

The estimated damage caused was put at £1,000.

Bail was opposed due to the risk of re-offending and the police officer told the court that Doherty had 70 previous convictions with 36 of them for violenceas well as 5 suspended sentences. 

The officer said that police believed Doherty would put 'the public at risk.'

Defence counsel Stephen Mooney said he had a 'very difficult task' as the CCTV showed his client acting in an aggressive manner.

He said Doherty had 'significant issues' and was 'a vulnerable individual'.

District Judge Barney McElholm said that Doherty had been given an enhanced combination order and suspended sentences as a way of saying 'this is it'.

He said she was getting 'no more chances'.

The judge said that Doherty had to learn to cope with her issues in a way that did not involve violence towards others.

He said she was a risk to the public and refused bail. 

Doherty was remanded in to appear again on September 1.

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