Creeper burgary accused refused bail

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A man accused of crashing a stolen car into a roundabout has been refused bail at the local magistrates court.

James Gerard Donegan, whose address was given as Carnhill, is charged with burglary, handling stolen goods and aggravated vehicle taking.

He is further charged with driving whilst disqualified, dangerous driving and other motoring offences, as well as resisting police.

All the offences were allegedly committed on October 8.

Derry Magistrates Court heard that a house was broken into in the Springvale Park area of the city and three sets of keys were stolen. The injured party’s car was also missing.

In the early hours of the morning a member of the public reported a car being driven erratically in the Slievemore area. Police allegedly spotted the vehicle travelling at speed on the Skeoge Road and then lost sight of it.

It is alleged they came upon the vehicle again and it had crashed into a roundabout.

The court heard allegations the vehicle was damaged and the bumper and lights were ‘impaled’ on railings.

Donegan allegedly got out of the vehicle and ran off. As he attempted to enter a hedgerow he was apprehended and CS spray had to be deployed.

It is alleged two sets of keys were found in the 26-year-old’s possession which were later identified by the injured party.

He also tried to ‘chew and swallow’ a bank card which was allegedly owned by the man.

The court heard that a breath sample showed that Donegan was over the legal drink drive limit.

Defence solicitor Seamus Quigley said there os no forensic evidence to link his client to the burglary.

District Judge Barney McElholm refused bail for fear of further offences.

He said ‘if we area ever going to stamp out creeper burglaries and car theft, charges of handling has to be seen as serious as the burglary itself’.

Donegan was remanded in custody to appear in court again via videolink next month.