Waterside man fined for stealing friend’s car after house party

The court house in Bishop Street.

The court house in Bishop Street.

A Waterside man took his friend’s car without permission was driving it while under the influence of cannabis, Derry Magistrate’s Court has heard.

Joshua Kavanagh took the keys to the car, which was on loan to his friend while he own car was being fixed, after attending a party.

Kavanagh, of Brompton Court, pleaded guilty to taking a car without authority, having no licence and no insurance and failing to provide a specimen.

The twenty-year-old also admitted possessing a class B drug and causing damage to an electronic tag.

All the offences were committed between October 13 and October 28, the court was told.

Derry Magistrate’s Court heard how the defendant was at a house party in the Fountain Hill area of the Waterside.

After everyone else had gone to bed, Kavanagh lifted a set of car keys and took the car without permission.

The court heard the car was on loan to his friend at the time.

A Public Prosecution Service (PPS) solicitor told the court how in the early hours of the morning police noticed a car driving erratically on the Branch Road.

The vehicle was stopped and Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) officers believed Kavanagh was under the influence because he was ‘acting strangely and slurring his words’.

The PPS solicitor told the court how police reported that there was a strong smell of cannabis coming from the car and that when the twenty-year-year-old was searched a small amount of cannabis was found.

The court heard how the defendant admitted the offence to the arresting officer.

He admitted ‘I stole the car’.

The court heard how Kavanagh was released on bail with an electronic tag and two weeks later he cut this off with a ‘sharp object’.

Kavanagh’s Defence solicitor Seamus Quigley said his client was a ‘vulnerable’ young man with a number of difficulties.

District Judge Barney McElholm suspended a four month sentence for two years, disqualified Kavanagh from driving for 15 months and fined him £600.

District Judge McElholm also ordered Kavanagh to pay £175 compensation for the damage caused to the electronic tag.