| 9.9°C Belfast

Car thugs knocked out woman's front teeth, Derry court is told


Saoirse Smith showed her injuries in a Facebook post

Saoirse Smith showed her injuries in a Facebook post

Saoirse Smith showed her injuries in a Facebook post

A magistrate in Londonderry has warned that anyone coming before him in connection with an incident which left a young woman with 22 stitches in her face will be sent straight to the Crown Court.

Barney McElholm issued the warning at Bishop Street Magistrates' Court after a 19-year-old man appeared in the dock following his arrest on Sunday for breaching court-imposed bail conditions.

Eoin McBrearty, of Rathkeele Way in the Creggan area of Derry, is alleged to have committed the offence last Saturday.

Objecting to bail, a police officer told Mr McElholm that during an incident in the Clon Dara area, two local women who remonstrated with the occupants of a car which was being driven erratically in the estate were assaulted.

The police witness said the defendant "was recognised by a witness who placed him as the driver of the car and who said they saw him from four metres and knew him".

The PSNI officer said the defendant was one of the three people arrested in connection with the incident, all of whom he said were subsequently released on bail.

However, after his release, the defendant was re-arrested when it was discovered he had breached previously imposed bail conditions by not signing on with the police, not residing at his bail address and by allegedly driving a car.

The officer said the police had a witness "which had him driving the car", and he opposed bail due to the risk of the defendant re-offending.

Applying for bail, solicitor Paddy MacDermott said it was not the defendant who had caused the injuries.

He also said his client also denied being the driver of the car involved, though he admitted he had exited from the driver's door.

Refusing bail, Mr McElholm said there was clear evidence that a witness had recognised the defendant as being the driver.

"This was a horrendous incident and it was absolutely disgraceful that someone could do that to another human being," he said.

"Two women had been doing their public duty by challenging the occupants of the vehicle being driven erratically and one of them ended up with horrendous injuries."

Mr McElholm then remanded the defendant in custody until March 12.

Another male aged 17 and a 20-year-old female have also been arrested on suspicion of a number of offences linked to the incident.

Following the incident, the alleged victim, Saoirse Smith, posted a photo on Facebook showing her injuries.

It was reported that she had sustained serious facial injuries and lost two front teeth.

Belfast Telegraph