A 28-year-old man who crashed his car into a house on Sunday night last was released on strict bail conditions when he appeared in court in connection with the incident.
Sam McGinley, of Cornshelll Fields, Derry, was charged with dangerous driving, driving whilst unfit due to alcohol or drugs, failing to stop at the scene of an accident, failing to report an accident, failing to keep a vehicle at the scene of an accident and assault.
Opposing bail, the PSNI officer in charge of the case, told Derry Magistrates’ Court that extensive damage was caused to the front of the house at Cornshell Fields.
The officer said McGinley was seen leaving the scene along with a female front passenger in the car and that he returned a short time later offering to pay for the damage.
However, the police witness said the accused became abusive and threatened the witnesses before once again leaving the scene and going to the home of his cousin.
The court heard when police arrived at the house McGinley was in his boxer shorts and the clothes he had been wearing were discovered in a wash basket.
The PSNI officer said the accused failed a subsequent breath test.
The officer told the court McGinley was remorseful during questioning and made a full admission to the incident.
The court was told McGinley had consumed some vodka and when driving into Cornshell Fields noticed a van being driven by a person who he believed was after him.
As a result, he lost control of the vehicle, which was his own and was insured, and crashed into the house.
The police officer told the court McGinley had 34 previous offences, mostly for motoring, in Northern Ireland and believed he was involved in serious organised crime and that there was a risk he would leave the jurisdiction.
However, a defence solicitor told the court as the accused had admitted to the offences there was very little chance of him interfering with witnesses and that all previous offences, bar one, were for motoring.
The solicitor told the court there was no evidence before the court the accused was involved in serious organised crime.
Stressing McGInley’s previous convictions were driving related, the solicitor told the court the accused was released from prison in 2011 after serving an 18-month sentence in the Republic for motoring offences.
The solicitor said while being questioned by police, the accused had expressed his remorse and had asked that his apologies and regret be passed on to the injured parties.
Conceding “flight risk” was always present being so close to the border, Resident Magistrate Barney McElholm released McGinley on his own bail of £1,000 and a £1,000 surety.
He ordered McGinley to live at an address given to the court between 8.00pm and 7.00am and that he was to be electronically monitored.
The accused was also told not to consume alcohol or non-prescription drugs and to report daily to Strand Road police station.
The accused was also ordered not to travel in any private motor vehicle and was not to drive any form of motor vehicle.
He was also ordered not enter within a 500 metre radius any part of Cornshell Fields, not to contact or attempt to contact, directly or indirectly, any of the injured parties or witnesses in the case.
McGinley is due to appear back at Derry Magistrates Court again on November 14.