A Derry court today heard that a group of men allegedly attacked a ‘good-hearted’ teenager who came to their aid after a car had broken down.
Paul Carr, 29, who has addresses on his charge sheets of Rock Mills in Derry and Coleraine Road, Portstewart, faces three sets of charges.
Those include hijacking, aggravated taking of a vehicle and causing damage to said vehicle, and common assault on March 11, 2020.
Further charges relate to burglary with intent to steal, possession of Class C drug diazepam, and possession of a knife the following day, March 12.
The final charges consist of possession of Class B drug cannabis, obstructing police and criminal damage to an electronic tag on October 13 of last year.
Providing background to the case, a police officer told Derry Magistrates Court that the ‘good-hearted’ 17-year-old victim was travelling home through Drumahoe when he noticed a vehicle broken down and stopped to help.
He approached to see if they needed assistance and got into the car in an effort to start it.
The victim later told police he smelled alcohol in the car.
After failing to start the vehicle he made to leave and offered to return with his father to tow it.
The police officer said that when the injured party attempted to get into his own vehicle he was pulled out and held on the ground as the group ‘repeatedly kicked’ him.
He was left on the side of the road until a passer-by came to his assistance.
A few hours later an off-duty police officer in the Coleraine area believed he saw a vehicle matching the description of that driven by the alleged attackers that was ‘well alight’.
Two individuals were arrested, neither of them Carr, but police officers were ‘aware of his involvement’.
A call was received from a person residing in a caravan park in Castlerock who said that two males were seen entering a caravan - one of them was Carr.
He was subsequently arrested and charged.
During police interview, Carr said that everything he did was because of ‘fear’ and he was ‘told to do it’ by one of the other members of his group.
Along with his co-accused he appeared in court on March 14 when they were all remanded into custody.
The 29-year-old was eventually granted bail but when he was evicted from his address, the police officer said he decided to go on the run rather than surrender himself to police.
When stopped on Shipquay Street during that period of evasion he gave police a false name and ran away.
He was later arrested on a drugs charge for which he remained in custody.
Objecting to bail, a police officer said the defendant ‘actively evaded’ the PSNI and she didn’t know if the proposed bail address was suitable.
Deputy District Judge Laura Ievers decided that the bail application should be adjourned until police have the opportunity to explore the bail address.
The case will appear again before the court on January 28.
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