Powers needed to remand for treatment


A judge has said courts ‘need the power to remand someone in custody where they are going to get treatment’.

District Judge Barney McElholm said that imprisoning people for a short period is ‘a complete waste of time’.

The judge made the comment as 25-year-old Dale McMonagle appeared at a special sitting of Derry Magistrate’s Court.

McMonagle, of Fern Park, is charged with criminal damage on August 25.

The court heard McMonagle was arrested for an unrelated matter and police observed a blue dye around the front of his face.

He admitted he had taken pregabalin and a quantity of diazepam, in breach of bail conditions.

An ambulance was called and paramedics attempted to assist the 25-year-old however he became uncooperative and allegedly began to threaten the paramedics.

McMonagle was returned to custody where it is alleged he defecated on the floor of the cell.

An investigating officer said the defendant has a history of drug abuse and this is the root cause of his offending behaviour.

District Judge Barney McElholm said that prescription medication is frequently available through the internet and ‘the way society is being run down we are getting these sort of drug ghettos and nobody in government seems to care’. He agreed to release McMonagle on bail until September 2 and ordered him to attend the police station every day.