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20/09/2021

Derry man sent threatening Facebook messages after damaging car which was carrying his ex-girlfriend

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A Derry man who attacked a car containing his ex-girlfriend and her new boyfriend has been given a suspended prison sentence, at the city’s Magistrates Court. Ciaran Bradley, 23, of Crawford Square, admitted causing criminal damage and using electronic communications improperly on May 28, 2016. The court heard the damage was caused by a ‘kick to a car’. The incident was reported to officers at Strand Road police station two days later on May 30. On May 28 at between 11pm and 11.30pm the injured party was in his mother’s vehicle along with his girlfriend at Smyth’s toy store on the Strand Road. They then spotted the female’s ex-partner, Bradley, approaching them and, ‘because the relationship ended in bad terms’, they decided to move away. The defendant was said to have followed them and tried to approach the vehicle and as the injured party attempted to drive away Bradley ‘kicked the rear passenger door’ causing a 6-8 inch mark. A Facebook message was subsequently sent by the 23-year-old saying, “I will kick f*** out of you. I would do time for it.” There was a suggestion by the injured party that he was almost knocked down but his defence solicitor Seamus Quigley said that couldn’t be accepted as a ‘matter of fact’. However, he said something was triggered that night due to the relationship ending in ‘bad terms’. Addressing the Facebook message, Mr Quigley described it as an ‘empty threat’ as there has been no suggestion of anything happening in the intervening period. District Judge Barney McElholm said ‘it was a very nasty message’ and believed it was possible the injured party saw him approaching, ‘panicked’, and reversed out. “He may have thought he was trying to hit him but I doubt that was the case,” he added. The 23-year-old was sentenced to five months in prison, suspended for two years and ordered him to pay £250 in compensation.

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