27 May 2022

Strathfoyle man smashed door with sledgehammer in 'act of jealously'

A man who smashed down a door with a sledgehammer did not intend to hurt anyone Court told


A man who smashed down a door with a sledgehammer did not intend to hurt anyone Derry Magistrate's Court has been told.
Brian Strawbridge (56) of Greenfield Park in the Strathfoyle area of Derry admitted possessing the sledgehammer, criminal damage to the door and one charge of assault that occurred on September 22.
The court was told police were called to an address to an ongoing incident where they were told a man had been banging at a door.
On the third occasion he came with a sledgehammer and smashed the door in.
When police arrived they located Strawbridge and he still had the sledgehammer with him but he placed it on the ground when told to do so by police.He was arrested and admitted the offences.
A defence solicitor Michael McGonagle said the contributing factor in this case was 'alcohol and human error.' He said this was a 'major aberration'.
The solicitor said that the defendant had been in a relationship with one of the injured parties for 20 years and that had recently ended.
He said the couple had remained friends but when someone told Strawbridge that the woman was in a new relationship he became angry because he believed they had agreed to tell each other if there was anyone new in their lives.
On the night in question no one answered his calls and he went to the man's house and no one answered the door.
The solicitor said he went to his own house which was nearby and fetched a sledgehammer and smashed the door in.
Mr McGonagle said Strawbridge had admitted being jealous but had not intended to hurt anyone.
Strawbridge was sentenced to four months in prison suspended for two years and had a three year restraining order placed on him.

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