Brothers jailed for six years for ‘trail of offending’

Michael Carlin

Michael Carlin

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Two brothers who left a ‘trail of damage across the community’ and put people in fear have been jailed for six years.

Michael Martin Carlin (24), of Deramore Drive, Strathfoyle and his 20-year-old brother Andrew, whose address was given as c/o Hydebank, pleaded guilty to a ‘trail of offending’ in November 2014.

They pleaded guilty to a total of 42 offences which include possession of an imitation firearm, attempted robbery, attempted hijacking and aggravated burglary.

Michael Carlin also admitted a number of driving offences.

All the offences were committed in the Galliagh and Shantallow areas over a six-hour period.

Derry Crown Court heard both men carried out the crime spree while under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

They had an imitation firearm in their possession during the incident and at one stage had a baseball bat and a machete which was used to cause damage to property.

On November 18, the brother’s made a number of threats on social media towards a man before going to his home.

Michael Carlin smashed the windows of the injured party’s home with a baseball bat. His brother was standing on the man’s car and was holding a machete.

At a later stage, Michael was seen brandishing a gun before leaving the area.

The brothers went to a Spar shop on the Fairiview Road and demanded staff open the till.

The assistant manager and a security guard attempted to remove the Carlins, who swung a number of punches at them.

After they were removed from the shop, the defendant’s jumped onto a car and smashed a window.

The court heard they entered a property in Galliagh Park later that evening and pointed the gun at a woman in the presence of her nine-year-old son.

They demanded the keys to her car but the woman pushed the gun away and screamed.

Her husband came into the room and the Carlin’s left.

They went to another property in Altcar Park and knocked at the door.

When a female answered the door the imitation firearm was pointed at her head. Micheal Carlin demanded the keys to her car and took the vehicle.

This car was crashed a short time later in the area of Earhart Park.

Andrew Carlin walked towards an oncoming vehicle holding the gun and he pointed it at the occupants.

He demanded their car, but the driver reversed and turned the car and drove off.

A Shantallow resident was approached a short time later by one of the accused. He demanded the car, however the injured party got in and locked the door.

The injured party drove off and one of the defendant’s hit the car window with the butt of the gun.

Another man in Shantallow was also told to get out of his car. He refused and the gun was put to his head.

The injured party heard a ‘click’ and started to fight with the accused who ran off down a nearby laneway.

Jailing the Carlins, Judge Philip Babington said there is ‘no doubt’ their behaviour caused fear to ‘innocent members of the public who were innocently going about their every day business’.

He added: “This trail of offending on the evening of November 18, 2014 left a trail of damage across the local community, put people in fear and two people at least sustained actual physical injury albeit of a minor nature.

“This was done without any regard to the civilised values of the community. Those affected, no doubt, had to spend many hours and days getting over what had happened and having property and vehicles repaired with presumably cost to themselves.”

The judge also made reference to the ‘fortitude and resolve of several members of the public which was in contrast to the cowardly and bullying behaviour of the defendants’.

He jailed the Carlins for six years, half of which will be spent in custody and half in the community on licence.