20-year-old jailed for disorderly behaviour

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A court has heard claims that a man who fled the city after learning of a death threat was ‘given a one month trial to behave’ himself.

Derry Magistrates Court heard the claim as 20-year-old Michael Stokes was jailed for four months.

Stokes, of Moss Park, pleaded guilty to disorderly behaviour, theft and obstructing police.

The offences were committed between October 2013 and July 2014.

Sentencing in the two of the cases had been deferred.

However, Stokes then committed a further offence and failed to attend court because of the death threat.

He was arrested last weekend and claimed he had come back to the city because he was given a one month trial by paramilitaries to behave himself.

Defence solicitor Seamus Quigley told the court his client was informed of the threat in October and he went to Navan.

He said this threat was real and police had notified the 20-year-old about it.

He added the 20-year-old has not committed any further offences in the last five months.

District Judge Barney McElholm said he had warned Stokes if he breached the formal deferral he would receive a custodial sentence.

He said ‘to do otherwise would be giving some sort of legitimacy to a bunch of thugs going round threatening people’.

The judge jailed Stokes and imposed a £25 offender levy.