Petrol bomb man avoids prison term


A diagnosed schizophrenic caught carrying a petrol bomb was spared jail yesterday due to his medical condition.

Gareth Courtney was instead ordered to serve three years on probation based on the circumstances of the case.

The 32-year-old, of Ohio Street, Belfast, admitted charges of possessing a petrol bomb in suspicious circumstances and resisting police.

He was carrying the device along with other bottles when arrested in the Ardoyne area of the city on July 15 last year.

Belfast Magistrates’ Court heard he had been drinking with his brother at the time. A defence barrister said Courtney was “lingering somewhere he shouldn’t have been”.

Deputy District Judge Peter Prenter told the lawyer his client was lucky to be caught before anything happened.