Court in County Down hears damage was caused onboard bus carrying 'young farmers'

Court in County Down hears damage was caused onboard bus carrying 'young farmers'

CRIMINAL damage was caused onboard a bus carrying 'young farmers' in the Ballyhalbert area of County Down.

Details emerged as Thomas Savage (24), of Drumlin Road, Donaghcloney, was given a nine months prison sentence, suspended for three years, for causing criminal damage to a Mercedes bus on May 18, 2019.

Sentencing had been previously been deferred to allow the defendant to raise compensation of £2,500 which he has now done.

At Newtownards Magistrates Court this week District Judge Mark Hamill asked: "Is this the one where the young farmers wrecked the bus?"

A prosecutor said a coach firm transported a "coach load, 30 persons, from Banbridge to Ballyhalbert, which the defendant had arranged".

She said the defendant was present on the vehicle "and as the bus was nearing Ballyhalbert the driver witnessed the defendant cause damage to seats on the bus, along with other persons".

Judge Hamill said: "So it was an expedition to Ballyhalbert and then back to Banbridge. I take it he didn't get a lift back to Banbridge?"

He added: "He is the fall guy because he was the organiser and he was seen engaging in this activity. This is wanton vandalism".

The judge told Savage: "This was entirely your own work. That and your young farmer colleagues and I hope they stump up and help you pay the amount".