Lisburn man in court for destroying his electronic tag
A Lisburn man being detained by police destroyed his electronic tag and swallowed the battery, a court heard today.
Gary Clarkin received a four-month suspended prison sentence for wrecking the monitoring device.
The 31-year-old, of Flush Park in Lisburn, was convicted of criminal damage.
Prosecutors told Belfast Magistrates’ Court that Clarkin was heard making noises in his cell while in police custody on January 22 this year.
Officers saw him smashing the £180 security tag on the floor.
“He told police that he had swallowed the battery, and was then taken to hospital,” a Crown lawyer said.
Following treatment Clarkin claimed he had acted because of a failure to get anti-psychotic medication.
Defence solicitor Eoghan McKenna set out how his client had been struggling with mental health issues.
“It was very destructive behaviour in terms of his own health,” Mr McKenna added.
District Judge George Conner declined a prosecution request for Clarkin to pay £180 compensation for the device.
But imposing the four-month jail term, suspended for a year, Mr Conner said: “Destroying a tag is a serious matter.
“That is what makes a difference between so many being in custody and being on bail.”