Man used his own faeces to scrawl ‘IRA’ in police cell

Limavady Courthouse
Limavady Courthouse

A 45-year-old Dungiven man who scrawled ‘RUC SCUM’ and ‘IRA’ in a police cell has been jailed for four and a half months.

Stephen Thomas Donaghy of Columbia Park in Dungiven was sentenced to four months in jail for the offences of criminal damage and disorderly behaviour when he appeared at Limavady Magistrates Court on Wednesday.

Donaghy was also sentenced to a further 14 days in jail for contempt of court.

The court heard on July 3 of this year a family member of the defendant called police concerned about Donaghy’s welfare; that he had made threats to self-harm. It was feared Donaghy may have been in possession of a knife.

Police located Donaghy on Main Street in Dungiven and conducted a search. He shouted ‘fenian-hating, black b*******’, and various other remarks.

The court heard despite being warned by police, the “foul and abusive language continued”.

Donaghy was arrested and taken into custody at Strand Road police station in Derry.

In custody, Donaghy defecated in the cell and used his own faeces to scrawl ‘RUC scum’ and ‘IRA’.

Donaghy appeared in court last week to be sentenced for the offences.

However, District Judge Liam McNally remanded him in custody for a week so he could come back when he was sober.

The court also heard Donaghy defecated in the cell at Limavady Courthouse last Wednesday, which subsequently had to be deep cleaned.

When Donaghy was being taken out of the court last week he shouted various remarks, including ‘F*** your British laws’.

Defence solicitor, Joe McElhinney, told the court that Donaghy wished to apologise “profusely” for his behaviour, both inside the court and outside. He said Donaghy accepted his behaviour was wrong.

Mr. McElhinney said Donaghy was an alcoholic, and that the consumption of alcohol had led to his behaviour in July and last week.

District Judge McNally said Donaghy’s behaviour was “quite appalling”. He said other prisoners have to go into the cell and Donaghy’s behaviour was “not fair” on them, or on staff.