Damaged room in City Mission, disorderly in Altnagelvin

A man who was disorderly in Altnagelvin Hospital and caused damage to a homeless shelter has received a suspended sentence.

Friday, 17th March 2017, 9:33 am
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 11:21 am
The courthouse at Bishop Street, Derry.

Rory James Forrester, of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty to disorderly behaviour and assaulting police on May 9, last year.

The 34-years-old also admitted causing criminal damage to the Methodist Mission on July 4, 2016.

Sentencing in the case had been deferred for six months to see if the defendant could stay out of trouble.

However, he failed to attend court at the end of the deferral and a warrant was issued for his arrest.

Forrester was arrested last weekend in Armagh after he stole a bottle of vodka from an off-licence.

A previous court hearing was told police were called to the Simon Community last May because staff had concerns for Forrester’s safety.

Officers took the defendant to Altnagelvin Hospital to seek treatment.

While they were in the waiting room, he pushed one of the officers on the chest shouting ‘f*** away off black b*******’.

Derry Magistrate’s Court was told the hospital waiting room was busy at the time.

Forrester was taken into a quieter area of the hospital but he continued to shout and swear.

He was arrested and told police ‘you are only arresting me because I am a Catholic you orange b*******’.

Then in July, Forrester barricaded himself into his room in the Methodist Mission.

He caused £350 worth of damage to furniture in the room during the incident.

It was revealed the defendant was in breach of a number of suspended sentences at the time of the offences.

Defence solicitor, Mr. Eugene Burns, told the court there was no further offending during the period of deferral.

He added that Forrester is a man with a number of health issues.

Mr Burns said the defendant was the victim of a serious assault two years ago in which he sustained a brain injury and was in a coma.

He told the court his client had undergone brain surgery and has ongoing issues as a result of the assault.

The solicitor said that to cope with the stress of the upcoming trial in relation to the assault Forrester ‘took to drink and stole a bottle of vodka’.

However, he added that the defendant has been undergoing treatment in Armagh for his issues prior to the theft.

District Judge Barney McElholm suspended a nine month sentence for two years.

Addressing Forrester’s solicitor, the judge warned: “If he comes back before me within the next two years, I will jail him for nine months.’”

The judge added Forrester would ‘get no sympathy from me’ if he does not stop offending.