Currynierin hijack accused remanded

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A man who tried to escape from custody while in the hospital and ‘attacked’ prison officers, has been refused bail.

John Paul Harkin, of Milldale Crescent, is charged with grievous bodily harm with intent, possessing an oxygen tank and a crutch as offensive weapons, and attempted escape from lawful custody.

He is further charged with making a threat to kill, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and disorderly behaviour in the hospital on February 13.

The 36-year-old is also charged with hijacking, two robberies in Muff and Quigley’s Point, and handing property stolen.

These offences relate to two separate alleged incidents between December 2013 and August last year.

Londonderry Magistrate’s Court heard allegations that Harkin hijacked a pizza delivery man in November 2013.

It is alleged he was involved in the theft of another car from the Great James Street last August last year.

The court heard claims Harkin crossed the border once again and committed robberies at two service stations in Muff and Quigley’s Point.

Defence solicitor Seamus Quigley said if his client was released from custody he would be subject to licence conditions and would be living at a probation hostel.

District Judge Barney McElholm refused bail stating he was an ‘unsuitable candidate’. He said Harkin was a ‘recidivist and inveterate offender’ and there was a clear risk of further offences and witness intimidation. The 36-year-old was remanded in custody until September 10.