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Buncrana men appear in court 09.09.11

TWO young Buncrana men appeared in court yesterday charged with possession of petrol bombs with intent to cause criminal damage. A charge against a minor, who cannot be identified because of his age, was struck out.
The court heard that Darren Grant, 21 Pairc Mór, Buncrana, was arrested on August 26 last. He made no reply when charged at Buncrana Garda Station, the court was told. Defence solicitor Paudge Dorrian said his client had "suffered immensely" due to allegations made in the press that suggested his client was guilty, by implication, of arson.
"This man has no hope of getting a fair trial if this goes before a judge and jury," said Mr Dorrian. He said there had been "irresponsible publication by the press" and that "people's minds in the area have been polluted". Mr Dorrian also claimed there was "selective prosecution going on".
Garda Inspector David Murphy, prosecuting, said: "I reject this." Seeking an adjournment of several months, Inspector Murphy told Judge Paul Kelly there was a significant Garda investigation underway into the case. He said certain matters were still under investigation that, for operational reasons, he could not divulge.
He asked the judge to impose a night time curfew on Mr Grant. Mr Dorrian said his client was an "innocent party" and that such restrictions would indicate he had done something wrong. Judge Kelly declined to impose a curfew and remanded the accused on continuing bail. However, the judge told Inspector Murphy he was free to return to court if any issues of concern arose.
The court further heard from a local probation officer that 21-year old Darren Grant had failed to complete community service in relation to a previous, unrelated case. Judge Kelly said the community service order was in lieu of a prison sentence and it was now his inclination that the defendant should serve the prison sentence.
Judge Kelly said: "I'm not at all impressed with Mr Grant's attitude. He has a history of non-compliance and has come in to court today with a casual and disrespectful attitude to the process."
Mr Grant told the court that one of the reasons he failed to complete some of his hours was that he was on a week's holiday in June.
Mr Dorrian told the court his client would undertake to complete 76 hours of community service between now and December.
Meanwhile, Garda James Canning told the court he charged 18-year old Damian Carlin, Keelogs, Linsfort, on September 6, last, and that he had made no reply to the charge.
Defence solicitor, Ciaran Barron asked for statements and applied for and was granted legal aid on behalf of his client.
A minor, accompanied by his mother, also appeared at Buncrana District Court charged with similar offences. Defence solicitor Ciaran MacLochlainn asked prosecuting Gardai whether his client had been offered a chance to undertake the Garda Diversion Programme (GDP) in lieu of being charged. He also asked whether a full written submission was made to the GDP director and whether a written response was returned by the GDP prior to his client being charged.
He said his genuinely felt that his client, who had no previous convictions, would have been deemed a suitable candidate for inclusion in the juvenile programme. Mr MacLochlainn further told the court that striking out the charge against his client at this juncture would not preclude Gardai from re-entering charges at a future date.
Inspector David Murphy told the court that the director of the GDP had, in accordance with the legislation, been contacted prior to the youth being charged.
Following lengthy legal argument on the Children's Act as it refers to how juveniles are prosecuted, Judge Kelly said he would strike out the charge. The cases relating to Mr Grant and Mr Carlin were adjourned until next week but both defendants were excused from attending the next hearing.
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