Belfast Telegraph

Derry man was found with rusted machete down trouser leg and told police 'I was going to kill', court hears

By George Jackson

A police officer told the Magistrates' Court in Derry on Monday that a 37-year-old local man found with a two foot long rusted machete concealed inside his trousers on Sunday night told police "I was going to kill".

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

The officer told District Judge Barney McElholm that a concerned 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 the police that he carried the machete in order to protect himself following an assault on him several years ago.

Defence solicitor Paddy MacDermott said the defendant had the machete for several years.

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

The police 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 the defendant 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 his medication with alcohol. He said the defendant had no previous record for violent offences and he said normally the defendant was a mild mannered man.

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's 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 10 p.m. to 8 a.m. curfew on the defendant.

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