damage | 

Man charged with cutting engine wires of car competing in Donegal rally

John Crothers (62) faces three charges over an alleged incident at Ballyraine, Letterkenny, yesterday
John Crothers arriving at a special sitting of Letterkenny District Court. Picture: NW Newspix

John Crothers arriving at a special sitting of Letterkenny District Court. Picture: NW Newspix

Chris McNulty

A man has appeared in court charged with cutting wires in a racing car belonging to 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 Saturday.

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 of cutting the fuel pump switch, the fan switch, and three wires to the rev limiter and the safety switch of a classic Ford Escort, belonging to Richard Hall, “intending to damage such property or being reckless as to whether such property would be damaged”.

Crothers is also charged with threatening to carry out the damage to Mr Hall’s classic 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 brought 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 with or contact, directly or indirectly, Mr Hall or interfere with any of his equipment.

Legal aid was granted.

Judge Éiteáin Cunningham adjourned the case until September 5.


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