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Man says he entered family member’s house to ‘sleep off’ drink

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BT Coleraine

A MAN who entered a family member’s house claimed he wanted to “sleep off” drink.

Aidan McNicholl (34), whose address was listed as no fixed abode in Coleraine, appeared at the town’s Magistrates Court on March 16 via video link from prison.

He admitted breaching a Retraining Order by phoning a family member at work and on their mobile phone on February 4,5 and 6 this year.

The defendant also pleaded guilty to breaking a window at the family member’s home and damaging a window in a police vehicle when arrested on February 6.

A prosecutor said the offences happened after the defendant had been released from prison in connection with previous breaches.

At one stage the family member checked a security camera at their home through a mobile phone and it was discovered the camera had been moved to point towards the sky.

A window was broken and McNicholl, an alcoholic, was arrested inside the house and he then banged his head off a window in a police vehicle.

The court heard McNicholl claimed he had only called the family member as he wanted to “make peace” and he said he had gone to the house to “sleep off drink”.

He originally claimed the window had already been broken and admitted moving the camera.

A defence lawyer said McNicholl had a “very very difficult and serious alcohol problem” for which he had been to an addiction treatment centre.

The lawyer said the defendant had attended with ‘Adept’ which works with people in custody who want to reduce their substance use and the harm it causes.

He had also been to Alcoholics Anonymous.

The lawyer said the defendant, who had always worked in the construction industry, realises now his actions had lost him “the only true friend he had” and in prison he has had “plenty of time to reflect”.

McNicholl was given a three months jail term and it was heard he had already spent six weeks on remand.

He was also made the subject of a one year Restraining Order concerning his family member.

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