07 Aug 2022

Court hears Derry man who 'goes bananas' when drinking was lucky not to have been shot after coming at police with hammer

A man who faced a series of charges including one of going at police with a hammer forcing them to draw their weapons has been jailed at Derry Magistrate's Court. Christopher Hamer, 23, of Fernabbey Drive in Derry faced a total of ten charges relating to four different incidents on dates between September last year to April this year. In the incident last September Hamer was reported to have a hammer and when police approached him he went at them with the hammer and they had to draw their weapons in order to defuse the situation. In other incidents Hamer was abusive to police telling them that he would 'put bombs under your door.' In Derry Magistrate's Court defence barrister Mr. Eoghain Devlin said his client presented as a Jekyll and Hyde character. He said he goes to work for five days a week and stays sober but has appeared at Derry Magistrate's Court more often than he has in the bars of Scotland where he works at fitting them out. He said that Hamer's offending 'was almost flamboyant' designed to draw the attention of the police to him and when he drinks 'he goes bananas'. Mr. Devlin said Hamer's behaviour was 'bizarre' but he knows he is now in 'the last chance saloon.'District Judge Barney McElholm said that Hamer had appeared in court and been given a suspended sentence in 2016 and again in August 2017. He said it was quite clear that these were 'serious offences' yet barely a month later Hamer re-offended. Referring to the hammer incident, Judge McElholm said Hamer was 'very lucky' as if the incident had happened in some other jurisdiction he would have been shot. Hamer re-offended and was remanded in custody before being released on bail by the High Court and Judge McElholm said he was eventually given permission to go to Scotland to work. He said Hamer came back and got drunk and re-offended. He said that Hamer's comments to the police were 'thuggish and added 'the police are here to keep the peace and ensure we law abiding people can go about our business without the thuggish behaviour of Hamer.'

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