Don’t drink & text warning

Derry’s District Judge has warned a 43 year old local man that he should “put his phone away before he has a drink” after he pleaded guilty to sending abusive text messages and making a threat to kill at the city’s Magistrate’s Court on Friday.

Barney McElholm told the defendant, Cathal O’Donnell of Margaret Street, that it was “a shame smartphones did not come with breathalyser devices”, adding. “it would make my job a lot easier”.

O’Donnell had appeared in court to plead guilty to two charges related to November 10 of last year.

The court heard that O’Donnell had made a threat to kill a male on November 10 during a phone call.

He also sent a text message which contained “a number of profanities,” according to the prosecution.

A defence solicitor acting for O’Donnell said the background to the case was “complicated” and involved a series of family matters which had recently come to light.

The defence solicitor said his client had been “told a number of matters by the injured party which had upset him” in relation to their family situation.

He added that his client had used his phone to contact the injured party after he had taken a drink.

He said that O’Donnell was a chronic alcoholic but that since this incident he had taken steps to address his addiction.

O’Donnell was given a two month prison sentence which was suspended for a period of two years.