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Man kicked and damaged complete stranger’s car after receiving news of ‘imminent bereavement’

When asked why he had done it defendant had responded: 'I guess I had a lot on my mind'

Craigavon Courthouse

A Lurgan man who kicked a stranger’s car, causing damage, after the news of an “imminent bereavement” will have to wait until next month to be sentenced.

The district judge stated: “Could you imagine the state of this country if we all did this? Most people suffer sadness in bereavement, not anger.”

Aaron Ashley Follis, 24, of Ann Street, pleaded guilty to criminal damage at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Friday, where he appeared via video link from Maghaberry.

Court heard that on September 8, at 1.27am, police received a report from a female that her car, which had been parked at Tesco in Lurgan, had suffered damage.

She said that the damage was caused to the nearside rear panel of the vehicle.

When officers arrived, they observed the Renault Clio which showed a dent in the panel measuring 30cm by 15cm.

A witness told police they had seen a male, who they identified as the defendant, kicking the injured party’s car.

On November 5, Follis was interviewed about the offence and admitted responsibility.

When asked why he had done so, the defendant said: “I guess I had a lot on my mind.”

District Judge Bernie Kelly stated: “I am going to need a pre-sentence report, this is somewhat unusual. This was an innocent individual’s parked car that he vented his spleen on.”

Defence barrister Gavyn Cairns said: “He had at the time gained knowledge of an imminent bereavement.”

District Judge Kelly commented: “Could you imagine the state of this country if we all did this? Most people suffer sadness in bereavement, not anger.”

The case was adjourned for the preparation of a pre-sentence report and will return on June 21 for sentencing.

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