‘Busy criminal’ is accused of stealing girl’s iPhone

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A Cityside man has appeared before Londonderry Magistrates Court charged with stealing a £300 phone from a young girl.

Before District Judge Peter King was Gerard Patrick Mullen (30), of Crawford Square, who was charged with stealing the iPhone from the girl on September 8. It is alleged the offence was committed while he was on bail for two other incidents.

The court heard allegations that Mullen stole the iPhone from the girl after giving her a hug.

It is alleged that he then ran off shouting towards friends.

The District Judge was told the girl noticed her phone was missing straight after the hug, but was afraid to challenge the defendant because she was on her own.

Police subsequently found the accused drunk and asleep in the area of the Bay Road.

Opposing bail, an investigating police officer told the court Mullen has 89 previous convictions and had a history of breaching bail.

He said that police were concerned the defendant would interfere with the witness.

Defence solicitor Seamus Quigley said Mullen admitted giving the girl a hug but denied stealing the phone.

He accepted his client had a bad record and was a busy criminal, but said he was not a master criminal.

District Judge King released Mullen on his own bail of £500 and banned him from consuming alcohol.

He will appear in court again on September 18.