Judge rejects man’s appeal to avoid remand in custody

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

A Derry man accused of possessing a knife has pleaded with the judge not to send him to prison.

Gary Neeson, of Bond’s Hill, faces further charges of assault and assaulting a police officer in the Clooney Terrace area on September 13.

Derry Magistrate’s Court heard that a police patrol saw the 25-years-old being restrained by another man and approached them.

The officers were told Neeson had pulled a knife after he entered a shop and he was asked to leave.

A struggle had ensued and Neeson allegedly pulled a knife before the man kicked it out of his hand.

The defendant was arrested and allegedly spat at an officer.

The court heard that Neeson was on bail for other alleged offences and had breached the conditions of this by consuming alcohol.

Opposing bail, an investigating officer said Neeson has 44 previous convictions and this was his ninth breach of bail.

Defence barrister Stephen Chapman said his client had come off Xanax and substituted it with alcohol.

District Judge Barney McElholm said if Neeson had appeared in court in England ‘his feet would not have touched the ground he would have gone straight to the Crown Court.’

He refused bail and remanded the defendant in custody until October 11. Neeson pleaded not to be sent to prison, but the judge said he had had his chance.