Man threatened to burn down flats

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

A 33-year-old man made threats to burn down a block of flats after he was served with an eviction notice, a court has heard.

Martin Andrew McAnee, whose address was given on court papers as John Street, represented himself as he appeared at the local Magistrate’s Court.

He pleaded guilty to making a threat to damage or destroy property on August 21.

The court heard McAnee was ‘screaming and shouting threats to burn the property down’.

Staff and residents in River Court took the threat very seriously.

The court was told McAnee opened his front door and warned everybody on his floor ‘I promise I am going to burn you out. I promise this before I go’.

A prosecutor told the court there are proceedings listed for next week to evict McAnee from River Court.

Defending himself, McAnee said he made the threat after receiving an eviction notice.

He said he was ‘just really angry’ but there was ‘no intent’ behind the threats.

Imposing a conditional discharge for two years, District Judge Barney McElholm said ‘you need to understand that shouting something like this is very serious’.

He warned McAnee if he comes before the court again for a similar offence he will receive an prison sentence.