Man claimed he damaged electronic monitoring tag whilst climbing fence to retrieve football

Brent Smith

A man admitted causing damage to an electronic monitoring tag he had been fitted with as part of bail conditions but claimed it was an accident when he snagged it on a fence whilst going into a neighbour’s garden to retrieve a football.

Brent Smith (23), of Warren Crescent in Portstewart, damaged the tag on Saturday April 6 this year.

Police called at his home in the early hours and found he was not there, in breach of a curfew.

When interviewed he said he had been playing football before the tag came off.

Defence solicitor John Murphy told Coleraine Magistrates Court the tag had been put on the defendant in connection with an allegation of burglary.

He said that after damaging the tag the defendant tried unsuccessfully to put it on and then had gone out that night.

Smith presented himself at a police station the next day when he realised he was unable to fix the tag, the lawyer said.

District Judge Mark McGarrity ordered the defendant to do 200 hours of unpaid work and he also has to pay £71 compensation for the tag.

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