Limavady petrol bomb incident: Man is charged with causing damage to home

Limavady petrol bomb incident: Man is charged with causing damage to home

A MAN has appeared in court in connection with an early morning incident in which damage was caused to a home in Limavady where a petrol bomb was left at a front door.

William Charles Hutton (43), of Gorteen Crescent, Limavady, is charged with causing criminal damage to a front door window on June 27 this year.

The defendant appeared at Antrim Magistrates Court sitting in Ballymena on Tuesday June 29 via a video link from Coleraine.

A police officer told the court he believed he could connect the defendant to the charge.

Opposing bail the officer said that at 4.34am on June 27 police received a report "that a group of about four or five persons attacked a house in Limavady".

He said a witness identified the defendant as one of those present.

The officer said: "A suspected petrol bomb was also found sitting next to the front door of the injured party's address".

The officer said that during an interview Hutton "admitted smashing one of the windows but denies any knowledge of the petrol bomb or how the other windows got broken".

The PSNI officer said a number of suspects "remain outstanding at present" but enquiries were ongoing. He added: "The suspect admits in interview that he knows who these persons are but he has refused to identify them to police".

The officer said the defendant had 23 previous convictions including five for criminal damage.

A defence lawyer said the defendant, who was in breach of a suspended sentence, admitted to being at scene and damaging a window.

He said the alleged petrol bomb "hinges on forensic testing".

The lawyer said the "trigger" for the defendant's criminal record is "alcohol".

District Judge Steven Keown refused bail and the case was adjourned to Coleraine Magistrates Court on July 26.

He said: "Irrespective of the issue in relation to alcohol this is more sinister than that in terms of going with others to somebody else's address, whether or not under the influence. There was some planning and pre-meditation involved".

Following the Limavady incident, a police spokesperson had said on June 27: “Shortly after 4.30am this morning, it was reported that a number of windows had been smashed at a property at Edenmore Park, and a petrol bomb left at the front door.

“Damage was also reported to have been caused to the windscreen of the occupant’s car.

“There were children inside the property at the time the incident was reported to have taken place. Fortunately, no one was injured, however, the outcome could have been very different and resulted in a tragic set of circumstances."