Teenager jailed for assault, criminal damage and theft

Bishop street Courthouse
Bishop street Courthouse

A teenager who assaulted his sister and stole an iPad from a local entertainment venue was jailed for five months, when he appeared before Londonderry Magistrates Court.

Appearing before District Judge Barney McElholm, Martin Stokes (19), with an address at Cornshell Fields in Ballyarnett, was convicted in his absence in respect of a number of charges after he failed to turn up for a scheduled court appearance.

He was later apprehended and remanded in custody.

The 19-year-old was convicted on charges of common assault, criminal damage and theft, which the court was told occurred between November 2011 and March 2013.

The Magistrates Court heard that Stokes assaulted his sister in the kitchen of the family home, which left her with a cut to her lip and swollen cheek. The court was told the 19-year-old kicked her about the head, chest and back.

Meanwhile, in November 2012, the court heard Stokes smashed the windows of a house while armed with a baseball bat.

Two windows, one of which was five foot and the other three foot, were smashed and the injured party saw Stokes outside with the bat at the time. However, during a subsequent police interview, the defendant denied the offence.

In 2013, the prosecution said Stokes assaulted his sister by pushing her on the forehead. There were no injuries caused, however the injured party was left feeling extremely upset by it. When he was interviewed in relation to this, Stokes claimed he had an argument with his sister but did not assault her.

The court also heard that in November 2011 the 19-year-old stole an iPad from the prize shop at the Brunswick Moviebowl complex. He was identified on CCTV stealing the item.

The court was told Brunswick Moviebowl contacted the teenager’s relatives to give him an opportunity to bring it back. However, Stokes did not do this and the iPad, worth £480, has never been recovered.

Defence counsel Stephen Chapman said his client has no previous convictions and told the court it was Stokes’ cousin who had stolen the iPad.

He said there was no history of domestic violence between his client and his sister and went on to say that Stokes presented himself as a polite and respectful individual, which were characteristics completely at odds with the offences for which he had been convicted.

Jailing Stokes, District Judge Barney McElholm commented: “This defendant is obviously a good actor”.

He said the incidents involved disgusting offences and the 19-year-old was a complete stranger to the truth.

Judge McElholm ordered Stokes to pay £480 compensation to Brunswick Moviebowl.