A County Derry man telephoned a woman who he had met at a prayer meeting and told her he was a UDA commander who planned to ‘bring the IRA to its knees’, a court has heard.

Eugene Conwell, of Formoyle Road, Macosquin, made the call to the woman just after 2am on July 24, 2015, Limavady Magistrates Court heard today.

The court heard that the injured party contacted police after she received the threatening call from the 57 year-old.

She alleged that he called her and told her he was Eugene Conwell from Macosquin.  She said he gave her the spelling of his surname and claimed that he was a UDA commander and that he said he was going to bring the IRA to its knees, adding that he was going to bring her to her knees.  The woman also claimed that Conwell called her a ‘Scottish w****r’ during the call.

The woman dialled ‘1471’ after the call had ended and ascertained that it had been made from a mobile phone.

Police seized the mobile, which belonged to Conwell, and were able to confirm that the call had been made from his number.

During interview, Conwell was unable to offer an explanation as to why he had called this woman.

However, a short time later the defendant contacted police and made counter allegations saying that the woman had made threats to him during the course of the conversation.

The woman claimed that she had no dealings with Conwell in the past but said that there could have been some possible contact at a prayer group.

Conwell’s barrister Alan Stewart said his client had consumed a ‘fair amount of alcohol’ on the night in question and had ‘no recollection’ of the call.

Explaining that Conwell has a relevant history of mental health problems, Mr Stewart said that he and the injured party had met some years previously at a Christian prayer meeting.

During sentencing, District Judge Liam McNally commented on Conwell’s ‘lack of guile’ in spelling out his name and telling the woman where he lived.

Judge McNally said he would take into account Conwell’s guilty plea, mental health background and the fact that he hadn’t offended in almost 30 years.

Conwell was sentenced to two months in custody, which Judge McNally suspended for two years, and was ordered to pay £100 compensation to the injured party.

If you have a story or want to send a photo or video to us please contact the Derry Now editorial team on 028 7129 6600 for Derry City stories Or 028 7774 3970 for County Derry stories. Or you can email [email protected] at any time.