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Northern Ireland man set fire to 35 single shoes owned by ex-partner

By Eamonn McDermott

Published 28/10/2016

A man who burned one shoe of every pair owned by his former partner after they broke up in what the judge described as 'a nasty and despicable' incident has received a suspended sentence at Londonderry Magistrate's Court
A man who burned one shoe of every pair owned by his former partner after they broke up in what the judge described as 'a nasty and despicable' incident has received a suspended sentence at Londonderry Magistrate's Court

A man who burned one shoe of every pair owned by his former partner after they broke up in what the judge described as 'a nasty and despicable' incident has received a suspended sentence at Londonderry Magistrate's Court.

Anthony McCoy (34), with an address in Surrey in England, appeared at the court on foot of an arrest warrant issued last year when he failed to turn up for his trial.

He was convicted of two counts of criminal damage to furniture, clothes and other items belonging to the woman and one charge of theft regarding a laptop.

The offences occurred on dates between June 17 and June 21, 2014.

The court heard that, following the break- up of the relationship with a woman from Derry, the woman moved out of the flat they shared to allow McCoy time to get his affairs in order and go back to England.

District Judge Barney McElholm said that McCoy "took advantage of this" and spray-painted furniture, curtains, lamps and mirrors.

He then took one shoe from each of the woman's 35 pairs and set fire to it.

He also left the water running, heat turned up full and turned off the freezer so that food was destroyed.

Judge McElholm said McCoy had caused damage estimated at £6,000 and "he then ran away", fleeing back to England before being brought back yesterday by PSNI officers.

Defence solicitor Michael Magee said that they were 'an unpleasant series of offences' and added that McCoy was 'remorseful' for what had happened.

He said he had "lashed out" at his former partner.

McCoy was sentenced to eight months in prison suspended for three years and ordered to pay £6,000 in compensation at the rate of £500 a month.

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