‘Mistaken identity’ claim by accused in weapons case

Police are to get DNA and fingerprint evidence to confirm the identity of a man accused of possessing a hunting knife and a handgun, it has been revealed.

Derry Magistrate’s Court heard this as a man police believed to be Martin Micheal McDonagh, of Daisyfield Park, appeared in the dock.

On the charge sheet there are ten offences relating to alleged incidents between September 14, last year and June 19.

However, when the defendant was asked to confirm his name and date of birth by the court clerk, he claimed his name was Ned McDonagh and that the date of birth put to him was incorrect.

Defence solicitor Michael McGee claimed this was an issue in the case, as his client claimed it was a “case of mistaken identity” and the man before the court claimed the details on the charge sheet belong to his brother.

An investigating officer told the court the police were satisfied the man brought to court is Martin McDonagh based on information from both PSNI and Gardai information held on him.

He told the court police have “liaised extensively” with Gardai and their records show Ned McDonagh has two tattoos, one saying ‘Ned and Lizzie’ on his arm and a crucifix on his chest.

However, the officer said, the man in the dock doesn’t have these tattoos.

Applying for bail, defence solicitor Mr McGee said his client maintains he is Ned McDonagh and is contesting all matters.

Refusing bail, District Judge Barney McElholm said it would be “grossly inappropriate for me to release this man until every step has been taken to confirm his identity”.

The defendant was remanded in custody and will appear in court again via videolink on August 23.