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Prison warning for man who smashed church window and Remembrance Day crosses

Court was told he had already paid back twice the amount for damaged caused by way of apology

First Lurgan Presbyterian Church

A Co Armagh man who smashed a church window in anger has been warned that another similar offence will land him in prison.

Court heard the 54-year-old had also been accused of damaging Remembrance Day crosses.

Earl Thomas Mahood, of Oakdene Park, Bleary appeared for sentencing on a charge criminal damage at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Friday.

Prosecution outlined that on December 12, of last year, police attended First Lurgan Presbyterian Church after reports of criminal damage.

Officers arrived to find that a window pane on the front door had been smashed.

Inside the church they found a piece of brick which appeared to have caused the damage.

CCTV from a neighbouring property was viewed and it showed the defendant damaging the window at around 2am.

Mahood was arrested and during interview admitted to smashing the window.

He told police that he had done it because he was angry.

Prosecution told court that the cost of the damage caused to the church was £35.

District Judge Bernie Kelly had deferred sentencing in the case for Mahood to “get off the track” he was on.

She instructed that the defendant; find somewhere to live, register with a GP, to seek help with his mental health, and sign on for benefits.

Speaking on Friday, defence barrister John McCann said: “Mr Mahood is a man who has struggled with mental health problems. This offence was motivated by misplaced anger at the noise in the area.

“I have a letter from the reverend which stated he has paid back twice the amount of money as an apology.”

He added: “He is making all the efforts to address the issues which were pointed out by the resident judge.”

Warning Mahood, District Judge Steven Keown stated: “This can’t happen again Mr Mahood, if it does you will end up in custody for a considerable amount of time.”

The defendant was sentenced to six months in prison suspended for three years.

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