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Man broke glass in Armagh hostel door after altercation with staff over injured bird

Defence said: 'He left the property to take the heat out of the situation and when he returned the staff did not let him in'

Linen Court Hostel

A Newtownhamilton man who broke glass panels in a door in a hostel after being refused entry has been handed a conditional discharge.

Court heard this occurred after the 28-year-old had an altercation with staff members after he found a bird with a broken wing.

Shane Murphy, of Tullvallan Fold, pleaded guilty to criminal damage at Armagh Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday.

Court heard that on April 21, at 11.05pm, police were called by staff at Linen Court Hostel, Armagh, to a report of a resident damaging two glass safety panels on an internal door.

Officers spoke to staff who named the defendant as the male resident in question.

At 11.30pm Murphy was arrested for the offence of criminal damage.

When interviewed, he told police that staff were not letting him in until he calmed down so he pulled at the door until it opened.

Court heard Murphy now resided with his mother and that the damage caused was £200.

Defence solicitor Oisin Toner stated: “That was a fair outline of the facts, Mr Murphy was released on licence in July of last year.

“This is a man who suffers from severe depression, he is currently waiting to be referred, and it is in view of that context this must be seen.”

He said: “Mr Murphy had found a bird with a broken wing, he had intended to take it to RSPB, he spoke to staff at the hostel and an altercation occurred.

“He left the property to take the heat out of the situation and when he returned the staff did not let him in.”

Mr Toner informed court the altercation ensued as the staff believed the defendant had something to do with the bird’s injury.

Murphy was handed a conditional discharge for 12 months and ordered to pay a compensation of £200 to the hostel within 15 weeks.

District Judge Paul Copeland advised the defendant: “Keep your temper and don’t get involved in disputes.”

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