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Derry man accused of threatening to torture his mother until she was 'six feet under' granted bail

By Alan Erwin

Published 24/08/2016

The woman was in the living room at the time with her young grandson when it happened.
The woman was in the living room at the time with her young grandson when it happened.

A Derry man accused of threatening to torture his mother until she was "six feet under" has been granted High Court bail.

Banning Gerard Given from entering the city or contacting the alleged victim, a judge told him he was getting out of custody "by the skin of his teeth".

Prosecutors claimed the 25-year-old squared up to his mother while she was holding her 18-month-old grandson.

He also allegedly broke a table and door lock during a violent outburst at her home in the Creggan area.

Given, of Circular Road in the city, faces charges of criminal damage, common assault and threats to kill.

The court heard he arrived at the house on June 30 either drunk or on drugs.

He was said to have been aggressive towards his mother, shouting abuse and calling her names.

She was in the living room at the time with her young grandson and Given's sister, according to the prosecution.

Mr Justice Treacy was told the accused approached his mother while she was holding the child and put his face up to hers.

Referring to a statement in the case, a Crown lawyer alleged: "He said to her 'I'm going to torture you until you're six feet under'."

Given is accused of damaging property in the house after his mother and sister exited at that stage.

He denied the alleged offences following arrest.

But according to the prosecution he told police that if he had wanted to strike his mother he would have done so regardless of her holding the child.

Given had been released previously, only to be returned to custody for breaching conditions.

Seeking bail once more, defence counsel David Heraghty argued that Given could stay at an address in Omagh.

He also disclosed that his client was shot in the legs in a punishment attack seven years ago.

Granting the application today, Mr Justice Treacy ordered Given to register with a GP and seek a referral for mental health issues within 48 hours of release.

He warned the accused will be sent back to prison if he goes near Derry or makes contact with his mother.

The judge told him: "Just by the skin of your teeth, and I really do mean that, you're getting out on bail."

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