Belfast Telegraph

Derry man convicted of threatening to kill a grandfather 'spends his time mining for gold'

By Alan Erwin

A Derry man convicted of threatening to kill a grandfather spends his time mining for gold at his city centre home, the High Court heard today.

Defence counsel argued that Patrick MacCarthy's daily excavation work amounted to mitigating circumstances in his bid to be released ahead of an appeal hearing.

Last week the 53-year-old defendant was jailed for eight months over the incident at a Derry cafe.

MacCarthy, of Pump Street in the city, was said to have issued a threat to kill at the Bishop Street premises on March 19.

According to prosecutor Conor Maguire the victim had previously sponsored MacCarthy's attempts to deal with alcohol issues.

"The injured party is a grandfather and police say he's frightened of the appellant and is unable to walk his dog in and around the town or take his grandchildren there," the barrister said.

Expressing concern at the defendant seeking release to live in the centre of Derry, Mr Maguire stressed that the victim was "wholly innocent" in the animosity between the two men.

MacCarthy's appeal against both conviction and sentence is not due to be heard until January.

Nicola Rountree, defending, contended that he should be released on bail until then.

Setting out potentially mitigating factors, she told Mr Justice Burgess that her client has some difficulties.

Ms Rountree said MacCarthy has been mining for gold at his home, close to Derry Courthouse, on a day to day basis.

No indication was given of whether his activities have yielded any success.

The bail application was then adjourned for efforts to be made to find a potential alternative address outside the city centre.

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