Kicked neighbour’s door and shouted homophobic slurs

The courthouse at Bishop Street, Derry.
The courthouse at Bishop Street, Derry.

A 40-year-old man accused of attempting to damage his neighbour’s door made homophobic slurs, a court has heard.

Patrick Toland, whose address was given on court papers as Brandywell Road, pleaded guilty to attempted criminal damage and failing to answer bail.

The charges relate to an alleged incident in River Court, John Street on November 4, last year.

An arrest warrant was also executed on Toland in respect of a disorderly behaviour charge from November 7.

Derry Magistrates Court heard that the incident is being prosecuted as a hate crime.

Toland is alleged to have kicked his neighbour’s door in the early hours of the morning and shouted homophobic slurs.

He alleged called the occupants ‘queer b******’s’ and ‘AID’s ridden f*****s’.

Police were called and it is alleged the defendant was aggressive and abusive towards the officers.

The disorderly behaviour charge concerns an incident when Toland was on the Craigavon Bridge.

Police were concerned for his safety and he allegedly told them to ‘get the f*** away from me’.

It is also alleged he called a police officer ‘Beavis and Butthead’.

The court also heard the 40-year-old is in breach of suspended sentences for similar offences.

Opposing bail, an investigating officer told the court Toland has an ‘extensive criminal record’ and police fear he will commit further offences.

She added police also have concerns that he will fail to appear in court.

Defence solicitor Seamus Quigley said his client has ‘struggled’ since the death of his sister three years ago.

He said ‘rather than get grief counselling he sought to self medicate’.

The solicitor added Toland would ‘clearly benefit’ from the assistance of probation.

District Judge Barney McElholm said it is ‘clear he was a recidivist offender before and after’ the death of Toland’s sister.

He said it was an ‘insult to his sister’s memory to continue to offend and use it as an excuse. Many people have to deal with grief but deal with it in a way that does not offend every other member of the community’.

The judge granted bail and ordered a probation pre-sentence report.

Toland was released on his own bail of £750 and banned from going within 100 metres of River Court.

He is also banned from contacting the injured party and from consuming alcohol.

The 40-year-old will appear in court again on February 26.