22 year-old accused of robbery and hijacking

Derry's Courthouse on Bishop Street. 3003JM66
Derry's Courthouse on Bishop Street. 3003JM66

A man accused of robbing an elderly man in his Rosemount home has been refused bail at the local magistrates court.

Derek William Creswell, whose address was given on court papers as Strand Road, is charged with robbery, criminal damage, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and possession of an offensive weapon.

The charges relate to an alleged incident in the Wesley Street area on June 16.

The 22-year-old is further charged with hijacking and causing grievous bodily harm to a 76-year-old man.

These charges relate to an alleged incident in the Bonds Hill area of the Waterside on December 23, last year.

Derry Magistrates Court heard allegations that Creswell and a co-accused smashed a window at the house in Wesley Street with a breeze block and assaulted the injured party, a man in his 70’s.

It is alleged the men used force to get cash and a wallet off the injured party, but he was able to hold on to his car keys.

The man has been left ‘traumatised and shaken’ as a result of the incident.

The court heard that Creswell was seen a short time later, bare chested and with a large amount of money protruding from his tracksuit bottom pocket. This was found to be more than 1,300 Euros.

During police interview, the 22-year-old claimed he had been nowhere near Wesley Street and then declined to answer any further questions.

Opposing bail, an investigating officer told the court Creswell has been released from custody on June 10 after serving a jail sentence for theft.

He added that the alleged robbery was committed while the 22-year-old was on bail in relation to the Waterside hijacking.

The officer said police would have concerns that Creswell’s offending is ‘escalating’ and he would ‘represent a high risk of serious harm to the public’.

He also told the court police would object to any bail address in the Derry area for fear of further offences.

Defence counsel Eoghan Devlin said his client had never been subject to ‘onerous’ bail conditions before and if such conditions were imposed ‘it might go some way to meeting police concerns’.

Refusing bail, District Judge Barney McElholm said the allegations are ‘very, very serious matters’.

“Both involve attacks on older people who, by virtue of their age and state of their health, are extremely vulnerable.”

He said that if the court were to consider bail on the most stringent terms the address ‘would have to be well away from this city. Without that there is absolutely no prospect of this man getting bail given the risk of further offences’.

Creswell was remanded in custody to appear in court again via videolink on July 24.