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Man who ripped tiles off Newry courthouse roof is jailed

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Dwayne Cunningham on the roof of the courthouse

Dwayne Cunningham on the roof of the courthouse

Dwayne Cunningham on the roof of the courthouse

A 31-year-old homeless man has been sentenced to three months in prison after scaling Newry courthouse and throwing tiles at a police car.

Dwayne Cunningham, of no fixed abode, had entered a guilty plea when charged last week before being taken into isolation at Maghaberry prison.

The magistrates court heard that police were alerted to Cunningham's activity at around midday on September 16.

Officers arrived at the scene and observed Cunningham on the roof of the city's courthouse throwing tiles on to the street.

Cunningham proceeded to throw tiles and damaged the PSNI car before shouting at police to "f*** off".

A verbally abusive Cunningham was later talked down by officers and arrested.

Cunningham who was dealt with in his absence, had also pleaded to charges of theft of a push bike, criminal damage and fraudulently using a bank card.

On September 10, Cunningham was captured on CCTV taking a woman's bicycle worth £300 near the Canal Court hotel at 11am. The defendant was later arrested and urinated in a police cell.

On September 14, Cunningham entered a shop on Patrick Street in the city and tried to buy cigarettes with a contactless bank card, which was declined.

The accused was later observed putting "something into a nearby post box".

Two days later, Cunningham was detected taking items to the value of almost £40 from TK Maxx in Newry.

CCTV footage was used to identify Cunningham who was stopped a distance later with the items in a holdall bag.

Defence said his client, "who has a significant record", had "mental health issues that had been compounded by drink and drugs".

District judge Eamonn King said: "The court has had the opportunity to observe the state of Cunningham. This man is in need of medical treatment.

"I would hope he will get that medication before something serious happens," added the judge.

Belfast Telegraph