Crime: Teen warned to stay out of Derry

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

A judge has warned a co.Fermanagh teenager who armed himself with a hammer to stay out of Derry.

District Judge Barney McElholm gave the warning to 18-year-old Johnny Crumlish.

Crumlish, of Trasna Way, Lisnaskea, pleaded guilty to possession of an offensive weapon in a public place on April 2.

Derry Magistrates Court heard that Crumlish was swinging a hammer as he made his way along Foyle Street at around 3pm.

Police found the teen in the bus depot and he was arrested. Officers found the hammer in his pocket when he was searched.

During interview, Crumlish denied having the hammer out in public. He then claimed that he had bought the hammer to defend himself against someone he wouldn’t name.

Defence solicitor Paddy MacDermott told the court that someone had wielded a knife and his client, who was in the city visiting family, bought the hammer for self-defence.

He said Crumlish ‘did not start all of this’ and ‘thankfully it did not deteriorate further’.

The solicitor added that the teen is ‘young and impulsive’.

District Judge McElholm said ‘there is no such thing as self-defence in a situation like that. If someone threatened me with a knife I would go and phone the police, not buy a hammer’.

He said that people in the area at the time would have been ‘extremely annoyed and upset’ by the incident.

The judge added: “If that is the way he is going to behave he better stay out of this city. If I see him again I will send him to jail’.

He said Crumlish’s behaviour was ‘absolutely disgraceful’ and fined him £500.