Man accused of making homophobic slurs

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A 40-year-old man accused of attempting to damage his neighbour’s door made homophobic slurs, a court has heard.

Patrick Toland, whose address was given on court papers as Brandywell Road, pleaded guilty to attempted criminal damage and failing to answer bail.

The charges relate to an alleged incident in River Court, John Street on November 4, last year.

An arrest warrant was also executed on Toland in respect of a disorderly behaviour charge from November 7.

Derry Magistrate’s Court heard that the incident is being prosecuted as a hate crime.

Toland is alleged to have kicked his neighbour’s door in the early hours of the morning and shouted homophobic slurs.

He alleged called the occupants ‘queer b******’s’ and ‘AID’s ridden f*****s’.

Police were called and it is alleged the defendant was aggressive and abusive towards the officers.

The disorderly behaviour charge concerns an incident when Toland was on Craigavon Bridge.

Police were concerned for his safety and he allegedly told them to ‘get the f*** away from me’.

It is also alleged he called a police officer ‘Beavis and Butthead’.

Defence solicitor Seamus Quigley said his client has ‘struggled’ since the death of his sister three years ago.

He said ‘rather than get grief counselling he sought to self medicate’.

District Judge Barney McElholm said it was clear Toland was ‘a recidivist offender before and after’ the death of his sister.

He said it was an ‘insult to his sister’s memory to continue to offend and use it as an excuse. Many people have to deal with grief but deal with it in a way that does not offend every other member of the community’.

Sentencing was adjourned for a probation report and Toland was released on bail. He will appear in court again on February 26.