'˜Hellish childhood' afactor in damage case

A 21-years-old man who caused almost £2,000 worth of damage to a flat belonging to First Housing Aid in April last year, received a suspended sentence after appearing at Derry Magistrate's Court on Friday.

Tuesday, 6th June 2017, 11:23 pm

The court heard how Michael McManus, of Glenabbey Crescent, was reported to police after extensive damage was discovered at the charitable organisation’s accommodation.

McManus was arrested on April 29, 2016, and charged with causing criminal damage to the property on a date between April 21 and April 29 last year.

A Public Prosecution Service (PPS) solicitor told the court that during police interview McManus admitted causing damage to a cooker and apologised for his behaviour, telling them “he took his anger out on property rather than people.”

The court heard an initial estimate of £300 was revised upwards to £1,931 in terms of the overall cost of the damage to the property.

Defence for McManus explained how he was a product of his upbringing during which he had had direct experience of domestic violence. District Judge Barney McElholm empathised with the defendant, noting the “hell of his childhood” and remarked that if anyone had any doubt about the wider implications of domestic violence on society at large, McManus’ case was instructive.

He suspended a nine month jail term for three years noting the “enormous mount of damage” caused to the property.