Bailed man 'too poor' to charge tag
A man arrested for breaching his bail conditions was so poor that he didn't have enough money to put into the electricity meter that charged up his electronic tag, a court has heard.
Gerard Columba Cutliffe (42) was released on bail last September after he appeared in the Magistrates Court in Derry charged with four fraud offences.
As part of his bail conditions, the Co Donegal man was ordered to wear an electronic tag belonging to security firm G4S. However, Cutliffe was arrested at his bail address at the Simon Community in Bond's Hill in Derry when the G4S monitoring system indicated he was in breach of a court order by being absent from his accommodation.
But his defence solicitor told District Judge Barney McElholm the absentee alert had been started when the man's tag turned off.
"It switched off because he was so poor he didn't have money to put into his electricity meter to power his tag," the court was told.
Cutliffe contacted G4S and told them he was penniless and couldn't pay the meter to charge his tag, but they reported his breach to the police who arrested him.
The District Judge ordered the removal of the tag and removed the defendant's curfew conditions.
The case was adjourned until March 7.