A Derry judge has said that the local community ‘are not going to be dictated to by a small minority’ after a man had his tag removed for the second time in a week by masked men.
28-year-old William McDonnell of Culdaff Gardens in Derry had been charged in connection with the finding of a letter going into Maghaberry Prison addressed to dissident republicans in June this year.
On Monday McDonnell appeared at Derry Magistrate’s Court charged with the theft of the tag and monitoring unit.
However, the court was told that he claimed three masked men came into his house and cut the tag off.
He was released on bail again with the condition he wear a tag.
At yesterday’s hearing McDonnell was charged with breaching his bail as the tag was removed on Monday night.
A defence solicitor Mr. Paddy MacDermott said it was a case of ‘groundhog day.’
A detective told the court that around 5.55 on Monday evening they received a call from G4S who monitor the electronic tags to say that McDonnell had contacted them and claimed he had been stopped by masked men who removed his tag.
He said he had been out for a walk and was approached by a group of masked men near the Creggan chapel and taken to the local shops where they cut the tag off.
The officer told the court that this was the second occasion McDonnell had been approached by masked men.
The judge said he might consider an alternative address for McDonnell but as none were available he revoked his bail and remanded him in custody to appear by videolink on Thursday.