Judge brands man’s story ‘a pack of lies’

A man has claimed he breached his bail because he was taken away by masked men for three days.

Robert Barry Crossan, of Hawthorn Way, is currently on bail which requires him to abide by a curfew, a residence condition and wear an electronic tag.

The 37-year-old is charged with the burglary of a pharmacy on August 18.

Derry Magistrate’s Court heard Crossan had breached his bail between October 20 and 23, until he handed himself into the local police station.

An investigating officer told the court the 37-year-old claimed he had been walking through Creggan on Sunday evening when masked men told him to get into their car. He claimed his head was covered, his electronic tag was pulled off his leg and he was questioned for three days about interfering with children.

The officer told the court that police could not corroborate or refute Crossan’s version of events. However, he said police were opposed to the 37-year-old being re released on bail.

It was revealed the defendant has 96 previous convictions and had breached bail in the past.

Defence solicitor Paddy McDaid said his client had put forward an explanation for why he couldn’t adhere to bail conditions and if it didn’t happen “it would be very stupid for this man to put forward this explanation”.

District Judge Barney McElholm said he believed Crossan was telling a ‘pack of lies’. He added that the 37-year-old had no injuries to suggest a beating and this “shadowy group of masked men are paying more attention to the Human Rights Act than most groups”.

He refused bail and Crossan was remanded in custody to appear in court again via videolink on November 14.