Jailed for smashing flat doors

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A woman who smashed the doors of two flats with a hammer has been jailed for three months.

Joan Esther Kernan, whose address was given as no fixed abode, pleaded guilty to criminal damage, disorderly behaviour and possession of an offensive weapon on December 3.

Derry Magistrates Court heard 55-year-old caused up to £400 worth of damage to the doors of the flats in Mimosa Court.

Kernan had been the resident of one of them and it was reported to the landlord she had used a hammer to smash them.

Police found Kernan in a local bar and she became abusive.

The court was told Kernan told the officers to ‘f*** off’ and called them ‘black b*******’. The hammer was given to police by bar staff, who said they had convinced her to hand over the weapon when she came in.

During police interview, the 55-year-old claimed she had an altercation with someone earlier that evening and concealed the hammer in her bra because she was afraid of being attacked.

However, she denied causing the damage.

Defence solicitor Seamus Quigley told the court his client has a ‘long standing problem’ with alcohol and she has been subject to ‘domestic abuse and violence’ in recent times.

He said that on this night Kernan had not consumed any alcohol and she is now homeless.

Jailing the 55-year-old, District Judge Barney McElholm said there was ‘no justification’ for attacking the flats and there is ‘no reasonable prospect of compensation. That is the sort of behaviour we have to discourage’.