Prolific offender accused of damaging property refused

Bail has been refused in the case of an Irvinestown man accused of causing damage to motel property earlier this month.
Patrick James John McDonagh from Sallys Wood is accused of damaging a television and a window in the Belmore Court Motel on May 8.
A police officer familiar with the facts of the case told Enniskillen Magistrates Court the charges could be connected. He explained on the day in question police received a report of damage at the premises and McDonagh was located a short time later and arrested.
Opposing bail, the officer said the defendant is a prolific offender with 140 previous convictions, 26 of which are for criminal damage and is currently subject to a suspended prison sentence.
“We are concerned if released on bail he will just continue to offend,” said the officer. A defence barrister conceded McDonagh is, “A recidivist offender with many relevant convictions. He has made full admissions to the charges at an early stage. The issue comes back to his alcohol problem and remanding him in custody in the past to dry him out has time and time again proved a fruitless endeavour. The revolving door of custody has not been effective. There is no scope for witness interference given his admissions and bail could be granted with strict conditions.”
District Judge Steven Keown rejected the application stating, “The defendant is unable to be controlled by bail conditions or suspended sentences. We have a situation where we are trying to protect the public from this man’s behaviour. At a cursory glance at his record there is potential for nine months if not more in custody for these offences. The risk of reoffending is too high.”

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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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