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Court

Suspended sentence for scraping cars in Cornagrade

AN ENNISKILLEN man has been given a suspended sentence for scraping a  number of cars in the Cornagrade area last year.
Darren McGill appeared at Enniskillen Magistrates Court on Monday for sentencing on eight counts of criminal damage, related to two separate  incidents in June 2019 and January 2020, resisting police and common assault.
The case had previously been adjourned for a pre-sentence report, to assess McGill’s suitability for probation or community service.
However, on Monday District Judge Steven Keown said the report “doesn’t make for great reading” and indicated McGill had a poor attitude towards Probation Services.
On January 7 last year police in Enniskillen encountered McGill at flats on the Cornagrade Road/Derrin Road area of the town, and wanted to speak to him as he had allegedly been shouting outside.
When the police spoke with McGill he resisted the police, struggled, and had to be taken to the ground by the officers.
After he was arrested police received information that McGill had damaged a number of cars in the  area, by scraping them. He was charged with doing this to eight different cars on two different dates. Witnesses reported seeing him use a knife to do this on one of the occasions.
As he was damaging four cars, one local person came up to him. McGill then assaulted the person, attempting to choke them and causing them to fall to the ground.
Defence barrister Ciaran Roddy said McGill’s was a case of “wanton damage” which had no doubt caused upset to the car owners. He added the situation was aggravated by McGill’s assault on a member of the public.
Mr Roddy said McGill, who has spent the equivalent of six months in custody, had shown remorse for his actions, which he had little or no memory of. Judge Keown said it was “hard to accept” McGill was remorseful based on his pre sentence report and how he had shown animosity towards Probation Services. Judge Keown said it appeared McGill had “zero intention” of getting help for his difficulties, such as depression and substance abuse. As the judge was stating he did not feel McGill was suitable for probation the defendant began shouting from the dock.
“I have enough to deal with without having to deal with this,” he shouted to the judge, who ordered him to be taken to the cells to calm down.
When the case resumed Judge Keown said the only insight McGill had shown was that he felt he had been treated badly by police and that he was the victim.
McGill, who receives £1,000 a month in benefits, was sentenced to a total of eight months in prison, suspended for three years, and order to pay £100 compensation to the owners of the cars he damage.

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The Fermanagh Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
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