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Rocket launcher hoax man fined £300

A man who admitted dropping to his knee and pretending to aim a rocket launcher at members of a police patrol in the centre of Londonderry was fined £300 at the local Magistrates Court yesterday.

John Gallagher (26) from Brandywell Road admitted committing the offence of disorderly behaviour at Shipquay Street last November 25.

A prosecution solicitor told Deputy District Judge Brian Archer that Gallagher came out from a crowd on four occasions and mimicked firing a rocket launcher at a police Land Rover.

Each time he ran back into the crowd but on the fourth occasion he was caught by police.

Mr Archer told Gallagher that his actions in pretending to fire a rocket launcher at members of the police patrol "could well have had fatal consequences for you. Your actions were those of a teenager, not something one would expect from a 26-year-old".

Defence solicitor Paddy MacDermott described Gallagher's behaviour as foolish and said Gallagher, who was drunk at the time, later apologised to police.

Belfast Telegraph