Man with 277 previous convictions is accused of beating neighbour's door with hammer in middle of the night in Limavady

Man with 277 previous convictions is accused of beating neighbour's door with hammer in middle of the night in Limavady

A MAN with a Limavady address who has 277 previous convictions is alleged to have started beating a neighbour's door with a hammer in the middle of the night.

Kevin Gerard Conaghan (48), of Glenview Drive, is charged with having a hammer without lawful authority or reasonable excuse in a public place on April 13 this year.

He is also charged with causing criminal damage to a front door and a washing line.

The defendant appeared via a video link from custody in Coleraine at Ballymena Magistrates Court.

He was also charged with breaching bail he had been on in connection with an alleged burglary of the 'Lost and Found' cafe in Coleraine with intent to do damage last May; criminal damage to a storm drain and resisting a police officer in the execution of his duty.

A police officer said police received a report that at 4.45am on April 13 the defendant was outside a man's address and was "beating his door with a hammer".

Police found Conaghan at a "downstairs flat" where he was under the influence.

Conaghan said he had consumed alcohol and had taken "Blues".

The officer objected to bail saying the defendant was a "priority offender"  with 277 previous convictions.

She said the Limavady incident "seems to be an unprovoked attack."

She added that both the defendant and the neighbour said "nothing had instigated it other than the amount of alcohol that was consumed by Mr Conaghan".

The officer added that the defendant had asked the neighbour to come out to a communal area of flats "to fight with him so should that have occurred it would be much more serious offences we are dealing with".

She said the defendant was only released from custody two weeks ago.

She said Conaghan had 20 previous breaches of bail; five breaches of suspended sentences; had been recalled on licence twice; "escaped" from lawful custody; "attempted to escape" from lawful custody and has five bench warrants.

Bail was refused and the case was adjourned to Coleraine Magistrates Court on April 25.