Took to drink after family bereavement

Derry Magistrate’s Court has heard how a 49-year-old local man turned to drink after the death of two family members within months of each other last year.

Patrick McGuigan of Mimosa Court, Waterside, appeared in court on Friday charged with attempted criminal damage, disorderly behaviour and common assault.

The court had heard how police had been called to a the home address of the injured party, who reported that her ex-partner was at her home and was attempting to cause damage to her property.

When police arrived McGuigan was shouting and swearing at police. He told officers to “f*** off”. He was arrested, at which point he called the arresting officer a “black b******”.

The injured party told police she had returned to her home and found McGuigan at her front door, shouting and swearing. She attempted to move him from the front door and he continued to behave in a manner she described as “erratic and unpredictable”.

During police interview McGuigan told police he had been feeling depressed following the two bereavements and had turned to alcohol as a coping mechanism. The court heard that the 49 year-old had a drink problem but had making progress dealing with his addiction when he was set back by the deaths in the family.

A defence solicitor told the court his client “couldn’t specifically remember” the incident.

He said his client had been making efforts once again to deal with his problems and had been working with a counsellor.

McGuigan was given a 12 month probation order. Sentencing on the disorderly behaviour charge was deferred until September 19 with McGuigan warned this was his “last chance”.