Alleged burglary motivated by ‘sectarian or religious hate’ - court told

Bishop Street court.
Bishop Street court.

Police believe a burglary in Claudy in which two men were allegedly assaulted, was motivated by ‘sectarian or religious hate’, a court has heard.

An investigating officer made the claim as two men and a women appeared at a special sitting of Derry Magistrate’s Court charged in connection with the alleged incident.

Siblings Simon (35) and Michelle Temple (33), both with addresses in Irwin Crescent in the village, are jointly charged with Mark Jack (37), of Gulf Road, Killaloo.

The trio are accused of burglary with intent to inflict grievous bodily harm; two charges of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and criminal damage on March 17.

Michelle Temple is also charged with possessing a knife and a beer bottle with intent to inflict grievous bodily harm.

The court heard that one of the alleged injured parties is Michelle Temple’s next door neighbour and ex-boyfriend. It is alleged the trio banged on the door in the early hours of the morning and when one of the complainants opened it, a ‘scuffle’ ensued.

The defendants were arrested and denied all knowledge of the incident during police interview.

Opposing bail, an officer said police believe the alleged incident was motivated by ‘sectarian or religious hate.’

He said ‘tensions were high’ as a result and police had concerns the defendants would commit further offences or interfere with witnesses.

A defence solicitor for Simon and Michelle Temple said his client’s can reside at an address three miles outside Claudy.

Deaglan Barrett, representing Jack, said there was no suggestion his client had used any abusive or sectarian language.

He added that there was also no evidence that the witnesses had seen Barrett with any weapon.

District Judge John Meehan released Jack on bail and ordered him not to enter Claudy and to have no contact with the complainants.

The 37-year-old is also banned from consuming alcohol and must abide by a curfew.

The judge also granted bail to the Temples on the same terms and conditions, subject to an address a ‘significant distance’ away from the alleged injured party to be approved by police.

The trio will appear in court again on April 12.