Judge ‘not impressed at cockamamie story’

A Judge presiding at Derry Magistrate’s Court told a local teenager on Wednesday that he was “unimpressed” with the “cockamamie story” the juvenile made up to cover his tracks.

The court had heard how the juvenile, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has been on bail since October 15 and one of his conditions was to wear an electronic tagging device.

However on January 1, Group 4 - who monitor electronic tagging of defendants - received a notification that the strap of the juvenile’s tag had been tampered with. They visited the juvenile who told them the device had been damaged when he had caught it on a gate a few days previously. However Group 4 dismissed this claim as they had only just received the automatic tamper notification. A defence solicitor told the court that his client had been living under very stringent bail conditions and had “basically become fed up”.

He said the juvenile had not breached his many conditions in any other way since October 15 and he asked the presiding judge to consider the incident as a “one off” and give the youngster one last chance.

Judge Paul Conway addressed the teen saying: “You were released on bail subject to a lot of stringent conditions - this was done in order to protect the public. “I’m not at all impressed at the fact you outright lied about what had happened - that you made up some cockamamie story about the tag getting caught on a gate. This just shows your propensity for trying to bluff your way out of trouble.”

However Mr Conway told the teen he was willing to give him a chance to prove himself. “This is your one and only chance,” he said. “If you are back here before the court for any more breaches you will be remanded into custody.”

The 16 year-old is due to appear again on January 15.