Bail breached after leaving courthouse

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

A 41-year-old woman who appeared in court on Friday charged with breaching her bail by drinking alcohol and being in possession of a lighter, has had the case against her adjourned until tomorrow.

Tracy McCay had appeared in court last week when she admitted trying to set fire to her home in Trench Road. She appeared again on Thursday to change her bail address.

However the court was told that just hours after she left the court, police called to her address where a breath test showed an alcohol reading of 71 and she was in possession of a lighter, in breach of bail conditions.

Her solicitor Keith Kyle told the court that his client had made admissions about setting the fire in her house and that the only person she intended to harm was herself.

He said his client realised the seriousness of the breach. He said she had been relieved when she left court on Thursday and had a drink of wine.

“She also smokes,” he said. “She had been on the phone and told the person on the phone she was drinking. This person rang the police.”

He said there was no suggestion she was planning to do anything with the lighter.

Mr Kyle added that this was the first breach and his client was separated from her husband and had been living in the Simon Community and other hostels.

District Judge Barney McElholm asked what might have happened the police had not been called that night.

“Would she have continued to drink?” he said. “She may say her only intention was to harm herself but fires spread.

“There is always a concern in cases involving arson. There were specific conditions that she was not to have a lighter or flammable substances. She was in court yesterday and within hours she has breached her bail, how am I supposed to trust her?”

The case was passed for a short time to see if McCay’s bail address was still available. However when an address was unable to be confirmed McCay’s case was adjourned to the videolink on August 17.