26 Jun 2022

Man charged after damage caused to rally car in Donegal

The fuel pipe, safety switch, fan switch and rev limiter wires were cut in a car which was due to compete in the Donegal International Rally

Man charged after damage caused to rally car in Donegal

John Crothers was brought before Letterkenny District Court. (North West Newspix)

A man has appeared in court after damage was caused to the rally car of a competitor at the Donegal International Rally.

John Crothers, a 62-year-old with an address at Ballynashee Road, Glenwherry, Ballymena, County Antrim faces three charges over an alleged incident at Ballyraine, Letterkenny on June 18, 2022.

Crothers was brought before a special sitting of Letterkenny District Court on Saturday evening.

The charges relate to damage to a Ford Escort belonging to Richard Hall, who had been due to take part in the Historics section of the rally.

Crothers is accused that he did, without lawful excuse, damage property, to wit, cut the fuel pump switch, the fan switch, three wires to the rev limiter and the safety switch of a motor car, a Ford Escort, belonging to Richard Hall, intending to damage such property or being reckless as to whether such property would be damaged.

Crothers is further charged with making a threat intending that Mr Hall to believe it would be carried out, to damage property, to wit, a motor vehicle, a Ford Escort rally car.

The accused is also charged that he, without lawful authority or reasonable cause, did interfere with the mechanism of a mechanically propelled vehicle, the property of Mr Hall, while such a vehicle was stationary.

Garda Maeve Logue gave evidence of arresting Crothers at 10.15am on Saturday at Ballyraine, Letterkenny. Crothers was conveyed to Letterkenny Garda station, where he was charged at 5.48pm with an offence contrary to Section 2 (1) of the Criminal Damage Act, 1991.

Crothers made no reply after caution.

Sergeant Jim Collins said the matter requires directions from the Director of Public Prosecutions and there may be further charges proffered.

Bail was granted with a number of conditions attached. The accused lodged €495 in cash bail. Crothers had to provide Gardaí with a phone number on which he can be contacted. He is not to interfere or contact, directly or indirectly, Mr Hall or any of his equipment.

Legal aid was granted to solicitor, Mr Rory O’Brien.

Judge Éiteáin Cunningham adjourned the case until September 5.

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