Jailed for damaging roundabout flower bed

A 66-year-old who has a '˜fixation with pulling out flowers' has been jailed for three months for damaging a flower bed.

Friday, 19th August 2016, 1:51 pm
Updated Friday, 19th August 2016, 3:55 pm

James Harkin, of Altcar Park, pleaded guilty to disorderly behaviour and criminal damage on August 11.

The offences were committed hours after the pensioner appeared in court for similar behaviour.

Derry Magistrate’s Court heard Harkin was seen on a roundabout in the John Street area ‘staggering around’ and pulling out flowers.

Two of the flowers were found on the footpath next to the defendant ‘amidst bottles of beer’.

He also threw one of the flowers towards a female police officer ‘because women like flowers’.

Harkin became verbally abusive and asked police ‘are you going to f****** arrest me for pulling plants?’

The court was told the total cost of the damage was £100 to replace the flowers and the labour involved.

Defence solicitor Seamus Quigley said his client had a long standing alcohol problem and was before the court on a ‘regular basis’.

He added that the 66-year-old was before the court last week for a similar offence and was given a suspended sentence.

Jailng Harkin, District Judge Barney McElholm if he could send the defendant somewhere to get appropriate treatment he would.

He said that Harkin ‘seems to have become fixated with pulling out flowers and plants’.