Derry man described as a 'risk to the public' remanded in custody after hammer attack

Incident happened in the Gobnascale area of the city last week

Derry man jailed for assault on mother and father

Derry courthouse.

A Derry man described as a 'risk to the public' has been remanded in custody after an attack last week involving a hammer.

The incident happened in the Gobnascale area of the city on Wednesday afternoon.

Emmett Smith appeared before Derry Magistrates Court on Friday in connection with the incident.

A police officer told the court that the PSNI received a report at 5.40pm on Wednesday that a man had been involved in an altercation at a taxi rank at Lower Strabane Old Road.

He was threatening to smash up a taxi with a hammer.

When police arrived, the taxi driver said he had refused to take Smith in his vehicle and he had then been threatened by him with the hammer.

Police then received a further report saying that Smith was walking through nearby Mimosa Court, where he lives, when he banged a neighbour's fence with the hammer and said 'Scumbags, this is not the end of this'.

When spoken to by police, the neighbour said that they had been having 'trouble' with Smith for 'some time' and he was now 'living in fear of him'.

Police located Smith outside his home and he was arrested.

During his arrest, the court was told, he assaulted one of the officers.

Smith was subsequently charged with possession of an offensive weapon, threats to damage property and assaulting a police officer.

During police interviews, he denied the allegations against him.

He confirmed that the hammer belonged to him but said he 'had it in the house like most people'.

Although he continued to deny the allegations, he told police 'when I am off my head I am stupid'.

A bail application was made at Friday's court hearing by Smith's legal representative.

However, the police officer said they would be 'strongly opposed' to him being released as they believed there was a 'high' likelihood of him reoffending and intimidating witnesses.

The officer added that Smith had already been on bail for separate offences when last week's new offences took place.

“We believe he is a risk to the public,” the officer said.

The judge hearing the case dismissed the bail application. She said Smith had shown 'no regard' for previous bail conditions and she added that there was a risk of reoffending.

“There is absolutely no chance of me giving him bail. If he wants to appeal it to the High Court he can do that,” said the judge.

Smith was remanded in custody, with the case due before the courts again on February 11.

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