Belfast Telegraph

Derry man found with machete down his trousers is bailed

By George Jackson

A 37-year-old man discovered with a two foot-long rusted machete concealed inside his trousers on Sunday night told police "I was going to kill", a court has heard.

Dermott McClintock from Barnwall Place in Londonderry pleaded guilty to possessing the weapon outside a house at Maureen Avenue, just off Abercorn Road.

An officer told District Judge Barney McElholm that a member of the public reported the incident to the police.

When officers arrived, McClintock produced the machete from inside his trouser leg, placed it on the ground and then stepped away.

The police witness said the defendant was "on a massive amount of medication" for paranoia and he told police that he carried the machete to protect himself after being assaulted several years ago.

Defence solicitor Paddy MacDermott said the defendant had owned the machete for a number of years.

When the officer produced the weapon in court, Mr McElholm said: "How is it possible to buy such a thing? Was he in the Chindits or something?"

The officer said he opposed the defendant being released on bail because he was concerned about the potential outcome if a member of the public challenged the defendant when he was armed with a weapon.

"I would have the fear that he would be a danger to the public," the officer said.

Applying for bail, Mr MacDermott said while the rusted machete was no doubt a fearsome weapon, the defendant was more a danger to himself than to anyone else by putting it inside his trousers.

Mr MacDermott said the defendant was on medication for paranoia and had mixed it with alcohol. He said the defendant had no previous record for violent offences and added that he was normally a mild-mannered individual.

The defendant was released on his own bail of £750 to appear in court again on July 21.

As part of his bail conditions, he is banned from consuming alcohol and from possessing or using a bladed instrument except inside his own home.

Mr McElholm said he also wanted a risk assessment carried out on the defendant, and he further imposed a 10pm to 8am curfew.

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