27 May 2022

Derry judge hits out at Boris Johnston over plans to build a bridge between Northern Ireland and Scotland

Barney McElholm said money would be better spent on helping addicts

Limerick links of new British prime minister Boris Johnson have been uncovered

Derry District Judge Barney McElholm today said that instead of the British government spending '£15 to £20 billion' on a bridge which 'frankly we don't need' they should fund clinics to treat addicts.

He was speaking in a case involving Catherine Patterson, 30, from Top of the Hill in Derry, who admitted three separate offences of disorderly behaviour.

The court was told one of the disturbances occurred in Altnagelvin Hospital on June 17 after Patterson was attending A&E.

A police officer observed her shouting and swearing and waving her arms about.

Another disorderly occurred in 'a domestic setting' outside her own home on September 20 after police were called to a domestic incident.

When they took Patterson outside to talk to her she began shouting and swearing and was arrested for disorderly behaviour.

The last similar disorderly occurred in the Bracken Park area of Derry on June 6 when once again police were called and when they tried to talk to Patterson she shouted and swore.

Defence counsel Stephen Chapman said it was not as if Patterson was in court every other week.

He said she had an alcohol problem that led to her offending.

Judge McElholm said instead of spending money on bridges and the likes clinics could be established 'where people could be confined and get over their addiction.'

He said they then could go back out and have a chance of 'conquering their addictions.'

Judge McElholm said that for all the good that addiction services and voluntary organisations do 'they cannot police people 24 hours a day'.

He added: "There are people who need confined particularly those who are offending to help them get off their addictions."

The judge said that it was not going to work simply putting people back out onto the streets particularly people like Patterson who offends.

He warned Patterson that if he saw her in front of him again she would face 'a lengthy period'.

Stating that this was Patterson's' final warning' he imposed a 12 month sentence suspended for 3 years, a 2 month probation order and 60 hours community service.

To continue reading this article for FREE,
please kindly register and/or log in.

Registration is absolutely 100% FREE and will help us personalise your experience on our sites. You can also sign up to our carefully curated newsletter(s) to keep up to date with your latest local news!

Register / Login

Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.

Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.