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23/09/2021

Derry man who went into the loyalist Fountain area of the city and began singing Celtic supporters' songs is described in court as being 'beyond stupid'

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A Derry man who went into the loyalist Fountain area of the city and began singing Celtic supporters' songs was described in court as 'rash and beyond stupid'. Jason Doherty (30) of Abercorn Road in Derry was charged with doing a provocative act by singing the songs on September 24. He also faced a charge of assaulting a 16-year-old who is in a wheelchair and who a police officer said was now 'terrified'. Doherty was also charged with disorderly behaviour, obstructing police, resisting police and causing criminal damage to a police vehicle and police cell all on the same date. A police officer connected Doherty to the charges and opposed bail. She said the 16-year-old alleged victim is now 'afraid to leave his home' after the incident and that Doherty lived 'in close proximity' to where the incident occurred. She also said that tensions were running high in the Fountain area especially after what had happened in the summer. Defence solicitor Paddy MacDermott said his client had been drinking and on his way home went into the Fountain and sang the songs. He described the incident as 'not very wise' and added there were some people in the area including the child in the wheelchair. The solicitor said no actual assault had taken place but Doherty had 'clenched his fists and put the child in fear.' He said Doherty could have been 'much worse off' due to the incident. Doherty was released on his own bail of £500 on condition he reside outside the city and does not go into the city centre. Deputy District Judge Peter Prenter said the allegations were bad enough in themselves but told Doherty 'if the court finds this was a provocative act you are in serious trouble.' Doherty will appear again on November 7.

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