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Drunken men accused of 'nasty' attempted robbery with golf club in Shantallow
20 May 2019
A Derry man charged with attempting to rob an off license with a golf club has been excluded from entering the Shantallow area of the city. Damien McFadden, 20, of Moyola Walk, has been charged with attempting to rob a woman of drink, possession of an offensive weapon, namely a golf club, with intent to commit robbery, damaging a counter at O’Kane’s Liquor Store at Drumleck Drive and entering the store with intent to steal on May 13. Outlining the case, a police officer said McFadden attempted to rob the store which is situated 130 metres from his home address. A 57-year-old woman was the lone salesperson on duty when it is alleged that McFadden and another male attempted to rob the off license. The two individuals wore hooded tops in an effort to conceal their identities. However, the police officer said the 57-year-old victim was able to name McFadden as one of the perpetrators because he is known to her. He had in fact been in the store a number of times in the two and half hours prior to the attempted robbery, the police officer explained. The victim said that McFadden entered first followed by his co-accused who is being “actively sought”. The men demanded drink and tried to walk behind the counter. The victim was “bemused”, the officer said, and believed she had no real reason to fear them as she knew them. She shouted at them to “get out” but McFadden’s co-accused produced a golf club and smashed a display causing panels to break. The shop employee managed to push McFadden out the door and after a short time both men fled. Police called at the 20-year-old’s home address where his mother said he wasn’t in but had come back to change beforehand. Clothes were seized and McFadden was arrested the next morning, at which time he had a suspected broken arm. Under questioning he admitted drinking vodka in the warm weather and was not fit for interview for some time. Police objected to bail due to the seriousness of the offences and his lack of an alibi. Defence solicitor Kevin Casey said McFadden has no previous record and praised the “resilient nature” of the victim in bringing the incident to an end. His client claims “no recollection”, he explained, and noted that although it was a “nasty incident” police described the victim’s reaction as one of bemusement rather than horror. The defendant is said to have issues with alcohol and Mr Casey asked for him to be bailed to a family address at Sandale Park which was some distance away from where the incident took place. Mr Casey told the court it was “significant” that his client was street bailed and attended as directed. District Judge Peter King said it was a “nasty set” of offences but given his previously clean record he was minded to grant McFadden bail to an address agreed by the PSNI – most likely Sandale Park. The 20-year-old has been excluded from Shantallow in its entirety, must have no contact with witnesses or his co-accused, is prohibited from alcohol consumption and will have a curfew of 9pm-8am. Judge King granted him his own bail of £500 with two sureties of £500 each, to return to court on June 13. The c0-accused in the case, a 19-year-old man, was charged with a number of offences, including attempted robbery and criminal damage. He was due to appear at Derry Magistrates’ Court this morning, Monday 20 May.
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