Man stole Swilly buses and damaged Malin Green

Carndonagh District Court.

Carndonagh District Court.

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By Staff Reporter

editorial@derryjournal.com

Twitter: @DerryJournal

Anthony Cavanagh, Glack, pleaded guilty to unauthorised taking of an MPV at Greencastle Road and Churchland Quarters, Carndonagh and criminal damage at Glebe, Carndonagh and Malin village on June 13th, 2012.

The court heard that the damage to the buses amounted to 9,113.27 euro.

Inspector David Murphy said that on that date, at 7.15am, Gda Lambe was called to the Glebe, Carndonagh where two buses - a 95DL and a 94DL - had been abandoned. Garda enquiries established one bus had been parked the night before in Carn and the other in Moville.

It also emerged that the two buses had earlier been driven on to Malin Green, causing extensive damage.

Cavanagh (23) was arrested on June 14th and made no reply after caution. He told Gardai under interview that he and another person started the engine on the 94 bus and he had driven it from the Ballyliffin road, up toGlassalts school with the other person driving behind in his car.

At the school, the other person parked the car and got on the bus and they drove around Glassalts. They returned to the school and Cavanagh drove towards Carn, with the other man travelling behind in the car. They headed towards Moville and then they got there, saw another bus parked up on the Greencastle road, which they started.

Cavanagh and the other man then drove the buses towards Culdaff and on to Malin.

Inspector Murphy said the men had planned to leave the buses on the green but drove around the green area a number of times and then travelled to Carndonagh. The court heard the damage to the green invoked local “annoyance” given Malin’s pride in its tidy towns status.

Defence solicitor Ciaran MacLochlainn said Cavanagh and another gentleman got involved in the incident as a “prank of the highest order.” He said one of the men took responsibility for the damage at Malin green and paid compensation. He added the duo didn’t intend to “damage or keep the buses.”

Cavanagh also addressed the court, telling how it “wasn’t planned” and “was a bad joke that got out of hand,” adding he “did not mean to “do any harm to the green.” Judge Paul Kelly adjourned the case until April 21st for community service and probation reports. He said he was “not ruling out” dealing with the matter by a custodial sentence,