A man who ripped tiles from the roof of Newry Courthouse and threw one at a police vehicle causing damage has been sentenced to three months in prison.
The district judge told court: “I can say from the bench that this is a man who needs medical treatment and I hope that the circumstances are such that he will get that.”
Dwayne Cunningham, 31, of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty to two counts of theft, three counts of criminal damage, fraud by false representation and disorderly behaviour at the city’s Magistrates’ on Wednesday, via videolink from Maghaberry.
It was heard that all the offences occurred in the month of September this year.
Prosecution outlined that on September 10, at 11am, police received a report of a stolen bicycle to the value of £300.
The defendant was apprehended on a bike matching the same description at 5.30pm but claimed this belonged to a friend.
Then on September 15, at 12.15pm, police received a report that Cunningham had made his way onto the roof of Newry Courthouse and was ripping off tiles.
Officers arrived and watched as the defendant threw tiles onto the road, one hitting a police vehicle and causing damage.
Cunningham told officers who attended to “f*** off” but was later talked down.
On September 16, at 11.10am, police received a report of a theft from TK Maxx in Newry.
Staff said a male, who had entered the store earlier that morning, was observed placing blue bottoms over his trousers and placing a grey jumper in a holdall before leaving without paying.
The cost of the items taken was estimated at £36.98 and the defendant was identified after CCTV was viewed by police.
Also on September 14, police received a report of a stolen bank card and two days later CCTV showed a male, identified as Cunningham, attempting to use it to make a contactless payment in Newry.
The defendant was then observed going to a post box before appearing to deposit something inside.
Defence barrister Stephen Campbell stated: “This is a man suffering from significant mental health problems. These are only exacerbated by his longstanding problems with drugs.
“He is someone who requires medical intervention but this would require him having some sort of detox first. He is a man who in the past has shown an ability to get on the straight and narrow.”
District Judge Eamonn King commented: “I can say from the bench that this is a man who needs medical treatment and I hope that the circumstances are such that he will get that.”
Cunningham was sentenced to three months in prison for the offences before the court.