Man gets five months for intimidation
A district judge yesterday warned that the intimidation of witnesses would not be tolerated and he said the maximum sentence for the offence of six months was not enough.
Barney McElholm made the comments in the case of Patrick McDermott, of Creggan Heights in Londonderry, following his conviction for intimidating and assaulting a witness in a forthcoming case against him.
McDermott approached the victim and kicked him on the shin last February, telling him not to give evidence against him. The victim refused to comply and McDermott kicked him again.
District Judge McElholm said: "The courts are aware this goes on day and daily and we do not hear about it.
"All we hear about is that a witness strangely decides not to give evidence at the last minute."
Saying he was aware of cases where witnesses withdrew from giving their evidence because of fear, Mr McElholm jailed McDermott for five months.