Jail sentence handed down for criminal damage to doors

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A woman who smashed the doors of two flats with a hammer was jailed for three months when she appeared before Londonderry Magistrates Court.

Joan Esther Kernan (55), of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty to criminal damage, disorderly behaviour and possession of an offensive weapon on December 3. The court heard Kernan caused up to £400 in damage to the doors of the flats in Mimosa Court. Kernan had been the resident there and it was reported to the landlord she had used a hammer to smash them.

Police found Kernan in a local bar and she became abusive and she told them to ‘f*** off’, calling them ‘black b*******’. The hammer was given to police by bar staff, who said they had convinced her to hand it over when she came in.

During police interview, Kernan claimed she had an altercation with someone earlier that evening and concealed the hammer in her bra because she was afraid of being attacked. She denied causing the damage.

Seamus Quigley, defending, said his client had a long standing problem with alcohol.

District Judge Barney McElholm said there was no justification for the attack and her behaviour needed to be discouraged.