Duo on tourist abuse charges refused bail

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Two Derry men said to have “offended three different nationalities” in the Fahan Street area of the city have been remanded in custody.

Two Derry men said to have “offended three different nationalities” in the Fahan Street area of the city have been remanded in custody.

Ryan John Sharkey, (19), whose address was given on court papers as Jasmine Court, and 20-year-old Ruairi Canning, of Southend Park, are jointly charged with disorderly behaviour on August 8.

Sharkey is further accused of assaulting an Australian tourist and possession of a bottle, while Canning is charged with indecent behaviour and indecent exposure.

An investigating officer told Derry Magistrate’s Court he believed he could connect each of the defendants to the charges.

The court heard allegations that an actor, stationed on the city’s walls as part of the Maiden City Festival, was talking to a group of Italian tourists when he saw four men drinking in a green area near the walls.

It was claimed they began to shout obscenities at the group, calling the actor an “orange b******” and Canning allegedly exposed himself by “shaking his penis in their direction”.

The Italian tourists were said to be “visibly shocked” by the alleged incident.

A short time later, it is alleged two female Australian tourists were approached by the men and asked for money.

The court heard claims Sharkey threw a bottle towards the women as they walked away.

Another group of tourists, two adults and two young children, were allegedly approached by the men for money and abuse was shouted at them.

It was claimed one of the men told them to “f*** off you Russian b*******”.

Opposing bail, the officer said the actor would be in the same position for the rest of the Maiden City Festival and police have fears the defendants would try to interfere with the witnesses.

He added police also have concerns for the safety of this man and his fellow actors.

The court heard Sharkey and Canning are well known to police and they fear they would re-offend or breach bail conditions.

It was revealed to the court Sharkey has a previous conviction for riotous behaviour.

The officer added that police object to him being released on bail because the annual Apprentice Boys parade is due to take place this weekend.

Defence solicitor Gareth McFadden said his clients were extremely intoxicated at the time of the alleged incident and told the court their families are “appalled” at the allegations.

He added that both defendants would be suitable for bail, with stringent conditions. Mr McFadden invited the court to impose a ban on Sharkey and Canning entering the city centre until the Maiden City Festival and Saturday’s parade was over.

However, District Judge Barney McElholm adjourned the application until Monday, stating he would not consider granting bail until then.

He described the alleged incident as “disgraceful and shameful”.

The judge said “this city is trying to attract visitors and this is what they are met with” and the defendants had “managed to offend three different nationalities”.

Mr McElholm added that if he did grant bail neither Canning or Sharkey would be “going anywhere near the city centre”.

Both men were remanded in custody and will appear in court again via videolink on August 13.