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

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A Portstewart man accused of causing criminal damage to an electronic monitoring tag claimed it was an accident and happened whilst climbing over a fence to retrieve a football.

Brent Smith (22), of Warren Crescent, is alleged to have damaged the tag on Saturday April 6 this year.

A police officer told Coleraine Magistrates Court on April 8 that on the evening of April 6, the PSNI noted the defendant was not at his address and was in breach of a bail curfew.

The defendant presented himself at Coleraine Police Station on Sunday when it was discovered the monitoring tag was damaged.

Smith told police he had been playing football in a garden and the tag was damaged when he climbed a fence.

The court was told police believed the defendant deliberately damaged the tag.

A defence lawyer said the breach of bail, which involved an 11pm curfew, was accepted.

He said Smith had been at a friend’s house and arrived home at 1am.

He said the defendant tried to put the tag back on it but it kept falling off.

The defendant had been on bail in connection with charges of aggravated burglary and theft by allegedly entering a dwelling at the Portstewart’s High Street and stealing £100 worth of aftershave whilst having a pole as an offensive weapon.

Regarding the alleged December incident, the police officer told Coleraine Court an alleged intruder had been detained by residents in Portstewart.

At court on April 8 the defendant was released on the same terms of bail on the amount of £500 and the case was adjourned to April 29.

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