Jail sentence for attacking sister’s house with a hammer

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

A 40-year-old man from Ballymagroarty was jailed at Derry Magistrates’ Court for the separate offences of attacking his sister’s house with a hammer earlier this month and for becoming disorderly and obstructive during a police call out to a domestic incident last year.

Michael Gabriel Stokes, of Drumard Park, appeared at Derry Magistrates’ Court via videolink.

He was convicted of disorderly behaviour, resisting police and obstructing police during an incident on October 15 last year.

He was also convicted of criminal damage and possessing a hammer with intent to cause criminal damage, during a separate incident on September 2, 2016, the Court heard.

In relation to the first incident a PPS spokesperson explained how the defendant became disorderly when police were in the process of arresting his brother.

Mr Stokes attempted to intervene in the arrest, telling officers “you won’t be arresting my brother.”

He continued shouting and swearing but when warned, told the police to “f**k off, you can’t arrest him” and attempted to open the door of a police vehicle in which his brother was being held, the Court heard.

During the second incident Mr Stokes was arrested following the report of an incident at Drumard Close in which a male with a hammer was reported to have caused damage to a window and door panel at his sister’s house, the Court was told.

Defence solicitor Seamus Quigley said the defendant had been living in Dublin and intended to return there at the outcome of the case.

In relation to the incident last month, Mr Quigley said the defendant had drink taken and didn’t have a clear recollection of why he went to his sister’s house.

He asked for credit for the guilty plea.

District Judge Barney McElholm noted the 94 previous offences on Mr Stokes’ record and his interference with the police response to a domestic violence call out, which resulted in three of the charges.

He jailed Mr Stokes for two months concurrently for the charges of disorderly, resisting police and obstructing police.

He was given a three month consecutive jail term for the criminal damage to the door and window and another three months concurrent for possessing the hammer with intent.