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21/09/2021

Teenager accused of burgling properties in Derry is re-admitted to bail

Accused appeared before local magistrates court

Derry courthouse

Derry courthouse at Bishop Street.

An 18-year-old man charged with burgling houses in the Waterside area of Derry has been re-admitted to bail after breaching his conditions.

Matthew Paul Grant, whose address was given as Ormeau Road in Belfast, has been charged with a number of offences alleged to have taken place in Derry.

He’s charged with aggravated burglary of two properties at Ridgeway Drive with intent to steal while in possession of a knife on October 28, 2020.

Other charges include possession of cannabis, handling stolen goods, aggravated taking and causing damage to a vehicle, driving while disqualified and driving without insurance on the same date.

The defendant appeared at Derry Magistrates Court yesterday by way of video link on August 2 for a breach of curfew.

The court heard that Grant has a ‘very poor bail history’ and this was his fourth breach of bail.

A police officer described as ‘very, very serious’ the burglary charges.

Previous breaches have related to the mis-use of non-prescribed drugs and the consumption of alcohol, the PSNI officer added.

Defence solicitor Paddy MacDermott said his client was very depressed and feeling suicidal over the weekend.

“Thankfully, he didn’t follow through,” he added.

He explained that Grant was arrested at his hostel address on Saturday morning and has remained in police custody since.

The court was told the 18-year-old has now lost that accommodation but his mother might consider taking him home.

Mr MacDermott said his client has spent about five months in custody since the alleged offences were committed and there is no decision at this stage from the Public Prosecution Service (PPS).

He added that it’s ‘very unfortunate’ Grant and his mother fell out because he now has ‘no support’.

Deputy District Judge Archer decided to give the 18-year-old an opportunity.

He said the offences are ‘serious’ and whilst they are going through the Youth Court may be dealt with on indictment.

Grant was released on his own bail of £300 to reside at an address approved by the PSNI.

He will have a curfew of 9pm-7am, will be electronically tagged, must not enter licensed premises and is prohibited from consuming drugs.

Judge Archer issued a warning for the defendant not to breach bail conditions.

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