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"There's wiser chewing grass," says a judge as he deals with a young man at Derry Magistrates Court

Derry courthouse

Derry courthouse at Bishop Street.

Derry District Judge Barney McElholm today warned a local man that if he breaches bail again he would have to lock him up 'as it is not safe to let you out'.

Shane Doherty, 22, of Cashebmore Park, appeared at the local magistrates court for breaching his bail and a charge of possessing cannabis on February 23.

The court was told a police patrol on the Clooney Road saw Doherty and he made a hand gesture towards them.

They stopped to speak to him and noticed he was holding a mobile phone in breach of his bail conditions.

Doherty said 'I'm stupid' and then handed police a plastic bag with a substance in it which he said was cannabis.

A police officer said it was Doherty's first breach of bail and said the phone would be checked to see if there were drug-related messages on it.

Defence solicitor Paddy McDaid said Doherty had been concerned about his brother and had lifted his mother's phone.

He said if he had not made the gesture towards police they would have gone on past him and 'none of us would have been any the wiser'. 

Judge McElholm quoted an old statement from country people 'there's wiser chewing grass', and said he would re-release Doherty but if he breached again he could get custody for his own safety.

Doherty will appear at the court again on February 27.

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