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Derry man allegedly threatened to torture his mother until she was 'six feet under', court hears

By Alan Erwin

Published 22/08/2016

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 allegedly threatened to torture his mother until she was "six feet under", the High Court heard today.

Gerard Given is accused of squaring up to her while she was holding her 18-month-old grandson, prosecutors said.

The 25-year-old defendant also broke a table and door lock during a violent outburst at her home in the Creggan area, it was claimed.

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

During a bail application prosecution counsel alleged 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, the court heard.

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, prosecution counsel 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.

However, 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, but was returned to custody for breaching conditions. Seeking bail once more, defence counsel David Heraghty argued that

Given could stay at an address outside Derry. He also disclosed that his client was shot in the legs in a punishment attack seven years ago.

Adjourning the application, Mr Justice Treacy indicated that he wanted information on treatment available to Given and assurances that his mother would be protected.

Expressing sympathy for the accused's medical problems, he also stressed his duty to protect other relatives.

The judge said: "I can only begin to imagine how frightening it must be for his mother and other members of his family."

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