NewsCrime Desk

Repeated playing of Nathan Carter's Wagon Wheel causes man to snap and break windows

Nathan Carter
Nathan Carter

A man appeared in court in Co Derry charged with criminal damage after flying into a ‘Wagon Wheel’ induced rage, which resulted in broken windows.

53-year-old Stephen John Leighton of The Elms in Coleraine's Ballysally estate considers Nathen Carter’s hit to be "some sort of psychological torture," the town's magistrates court was told.

On the night of Sunday, January 10th Leighton, prompted by the relentless playing of ‘Wagon Wheel’ and fuelled by drink, stormed up a communal stairwell and yelled: "If I hear Wagon Wheel one more time I'm going to break that stereo."

The Derry man broke two windows in his attempt to get the country and western number turned off.

The court heard that the householder called police after Leighton, who lives in the flat below him, banged on his door, threatened his radio and broke to panels of glass.

Defence barrister Francis Rafferty said there were "unusual circumstances".

"On the night in question and for some time beforehand he had been tortured. He believed it was some sort of psychological torture," he said.

Mr Rafferty also told the court that his client was not threatening the occupier of the apartment, but instead said he was making a “threat to the originator of the song".

He also said that Leighton hadn’t intended on breaking the glass, insisting that the damage was caused when he slammed the door.

Leighton pleaded guilty to charges of criminal damage and assault on police.

Judge Liam McNally told the ‘Wagon Wheel’ hating Derry man: "Irrespective of the view you took about this particular tune that did not entitle you to take the law into your own hands" as he imposed a four months prison term, suspended for two years, and ordered him to pay £200 compensation for the damage to the windows."