Ballymena man who had been visiting a 'friend' held lighter to fire alarm panel which cost £1,500 to fix

Ballymena man who had been visiting a 'friend' held lighter to fire alarm panel which cost £1,500 to fix

A BALLYMENA man who had been visiting a "friend" at Braidwater Quay in the town held a lighter to a corridor fire alarm panel which cost over £1,500 to fix.

James McDowell (30), of Lanntara admitted criminal damage relating to June 1, 2019.

On December 27, 2019, the defendant attempted to steal items worth £4 from 'Iceland' in the town.

In January, 2020, police on foot patrol in the Ballee area of Ballymena were attending an incident and noticed a strong smell of cannabis from McDowell and found some of the drug.

In June last year McDowell ran from police in Ballymena town centre and was caught with cannabis.

In July, 2020, McDowell made off from police in the town centre and when caught had 15 Diazepam tablets.

Defence barrister Andrew Moriarty said McDowell is now back on a "methadone programme".

District Judge Nigel Broderick told Antrim Magistrates Court, sitting in Ballymena, the defendant had a "very poor record" and deferred sentencing until next April to see if he could stay out of trouble.

  • Main picture: One of the incidents happened at Braidwater Quay. General image of the area from Google Maps.