Accused of damaging festival artwork

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A 21-year-old man has appeared in court accused of causing damage to artwork which was created by a charitable organisation for use in a festival.

John Wall, whose address was given on court papers as Victoria Street, Lurgan, is charged with burglary of a storehouse used by In Your Space on March 14, 2014.

He is further charged with three attempted burglaries and criminal damage on the same date.

One of these attempted burglaries allegedly involved a ram-raiding incident at the Centra store, Buncrana Road.

It is alleged the £9,000 worth of damage was caused after a car, which police allege Wall was a passenger in, crashed through shutters of the shop window.

The court heard allegations that a number of items was stolen from a storehouse used by the charity In Your Space in the Pennyburn Industrial Estate.

One thousand pounds worth of damage was also allegedly caused to artwork which was to be used in a festival in the city.

Wall was arrested in connection with the alleged incidents last week.

During police interview he denied any involvement in the offences but ‘placed himself in the car’.

Opposing bail, an investigating officer said Wall was currently awaiting sentencing for the burglary of Harry’s Restaurant in County Donegal.

She accepted the 21-year-old does not have any criminal record in this jurisdiction but police feared he may flee.

The officer added that police had concerns Wall will not attend court.

It was accepted there were no forensics linking the 21-year-old to the scenes of the alleged incidents.

She also accepted that CCTV of the incident at the shop would not allow police to identify the defendant.

Defence solicitor Michael McGee said that while his client was from the Republic of Ireland his partner lived in Derry and was willing to provide a surety for him.

He sad Wall had no reason to return to the Republic of Ireland except to attend court for sentencing on February 11.

Deputy District Judge Terence Dunlop released the 21-year-old bail with a number of conditions.

He must reside at an address in Anderson Crescent, must abide by a curfew and an electronic tag and is banned from consuming alcohol in a public place.

Wall will appear in court again next month.