Judge tells Ballymena man electronic tags used to be harder to tear off because they were made of Space Shuttle material

A Space Shuttle at Cape Canaveral in Florida. Picture: Google Maps

A JUDGE told Ballymena Magistrates Court: “I can remember when tags first came out they were made of stuff that went to the Space Shuttle and now they just fall off at the drop of a hat”.

District Judge Nigel Broderick was speaking about electronic monitoring tags after Sean Paul McManus admitted that he “ripped” his off his body.

The defendant (35), of Dunclug Park in Ballymena, admitted causing criminal damage to the device which cost around £80.

Space Shuttle takes off.


A prosecutor said on May 21 this year the defendant presented himself at Antrim Police Station saying he was in breach of bail and that he had “ripped” his tag off about three weeks beforehand and wanted to hand himself in.

A prosecutor confirmed the tag had alerted at the end of April.

The defendant also admitted possessing Class C drugs – Pregabalin and Diazepam.

A prosecutor said that on February 22 this year McManus had also presented himself at Ballymena Police Station where he was arrested for breach of bail.

He was found to be in possession of a number of Class C tablets in his cell which had been “placed in a Kinder Egg tube and secreted on himself” the prosecutor told the court.

Defence solicitor John McAtamney said the defendant had a bad record but his last conviction was eight years ago.

He said there was an “unusual background” to the offences before the court as the defendant had twice presented himself to police for arrest.

The lawyer said the defendant had mental health and drug addiction issues.

The judge said the defendant had a “very poor record” and imposed a three months prison term, suspended for a year.

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