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Covidiots Judge regrets he can’t lock up 'disgusting' party-goers who broke Covid-19 rules

We can reveal Nathan Maguire was not long out of hospital after being treated for a stab wound when he tested positive for the virus.

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Nathan Maguire and Shania Deveney

Nathan Maguire and Shania Deveney

Nathan Maguire and Shania Deveney

These are the "Covidiots" who keep putting partying above public health.

All four appeared in different courts this week and have already been fined for previously breaching Covid-19 regulations.

One of them – 20-year-old Nathan Maguire – even had the deadly virus but still went to a house party which had to be broken up by the PSNI. As a result of having to deal with the infected idiot, five PSNI officers have been forced off the street because they have to self-isolate after being deemed a close contact by the Public Health Agency.

An exasperated judge dealing with Maguire and his co-accused Shania Deveney said there “wasn’t a hope in hell” of them abiding by Covid regulations as he expressed his wish to have the power to lock them up.

And in a different courts on Thursday and Friday the same judge lamented he didn’t have the powers to remand a group of persistent party-goers from Strabane.

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Shania Deveney

Shania Deveney

Shania Deveney

Sinead Corrigan of Dillon Court was already fined £1,000 (€1,125) before Christmas for holding parties while her pal Antoinette Lindsay, of Patrick Street, was also convicted of breaching Covid rules last month.

Cops were called to a party in Strabane at 4am and when nobody answered the door they forced their way in and found a number of people present.

Both Corrigan – who said last year she “didn’t care about regulations and would party as long as she could” – and Lindsay were hiding in wardrobes.

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Parties: Sinead Corrigan was fined £1,000 before Christmas

Parties: Sinead Corrigan was fined £1,000 before Christmas

Parties: Sinead Corrigan was fined £1,000 before Christmas

Judge Michael Ranaghan described their behaviour as “disgusting."

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Antoinette Lindsay hid in a wardrobe

Antoinette Lindsay hid in a wardrobe

Antoinette Lindsay hid in a wardrobe

We can reveal Nathan Maguire was not long out of hospital after being treated for a stab wound when he tested positive for the virus.

Yet Maguire, of Carnmore Lodge, Enniskillen, went to a party at the home of his on/off girlfriend Shania Deveney.

Deveney, appearing alongside Maguire at Dungannon Magistrates Court, has repeatedly flouted the regulations brought into law in a bid to protect the public during the pandemic.

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Nathan Maguire

Nathan Maguire

Nathan Maguire

It emerged at court on Wednesday how since the beginning of January alone police have been called to 16 parties at her address in Kilmacormick Drive, also in Enniskillen.

The pair’s shocking behaviour led the judge to slam the current legislation around the regulations for not permitting him to remand the pair into custody.

Keen to bang the dopey duo up to protect the public, Judge Ranaghan said the government had made a “significant error” when drafting the legislation.

He said had he the power to do so he would “definitely” be locking them up and described them both as a “danger to all”.

Deveney and Maguire were arrested after police were alerted to anti-social behaviour at Deveney’s address on Monday.

Both are charged with contravening Covid-19 restrictions and have had numerous fines handed out since last month.

A police officer explained there have been ongoing issues with parties at Deveney’s address and since the beginning of January alone there have been 16 occurrences, including people being taken to hospital with suspected drug overdoses.

Having received a further report this Monday, officers discovered Deveney under the influence of drink and drugs.

Maguire was found hiding behind a sofa. He disclosed he had tested positive for Covid, and despite being told to isolate had failed to do so.

Two other males were discovered in a bedroom, one of whom appeared very pale and sweating. He was unresponsive and an ambulance was called to transfer him to hospital.

Maguire was noted to have two previous Covid tickets and has been reported for another breach.

Deveney also has two previous tickets and two further matters have been reported for prosecution.

Following arrest both defendants were transferred to a specialist police custody suite in Belfast.

Five police officers have since had to self-isolate as a result of attending with Maguire.

The court heard the pair are continually breaching regulations and failing to adhere to previous actions or warnings.

Deveney’s address has been an ongoing issue with house parties involving large gatherings of youths, with regular and new people frequenting on a nightly basis.

She has made it clear she has no intention of abiding by regulations, the court was told.

Police did not object to bail to which District Judge Michael Ranaghan said: “I cannot consider remanding in custody as these matters are fine-only. The powers-that-be made a significant error when drafting legislation in making these fine-only offences.

“Had I the power to do so I would definitely be remanding these two in custody. They are a danger to all including themselves and more importantly every police officer who has to deal with them.”

He granted bail at £300 (€337) with a prohibition on alcohol and non-prescribed medication, but rejected a curfew from 11-7am because he said it wasn’t long enough.

“That’s far too generous,” said the judge. “If they breach bail the court has an opportunity to keep them in custody. I’ll make it 9pm to 7am. They must abide by all Covid-19 regulations and there’s not a hope in hell of them doing that.”

The case has been listed for mention at Enniskillen Magistrates Court next month.

On Friday morning a police officer told Dungannon court that Sinead Corrigan was hiding in a wardrobe when they called to an address in Main Street, Strabane.

The cop said she has a “total disregard” for Covid regulations and “no respect for anyone else” regarding the pandemic. Antoinette Lindsay was also found in a wardrobe.

The court heard it was the third time Corrigan had been in court for breaching the regulations. Judge Ranaghan said he wished he could hold her Corrigan in custody and described her attitude to Covid regulations as “disgusting and putting people at risk in the current climate”.

He granted bail of £500 (€562) to Corrigan and ordered her to abide by a curfew between 10pm and 8am.

Lindsay, who appeared in Strabane Court on Thursday, was convicted with breaking Covid-19 regulations last month. She was also released on bail of £500 (€562) with no restrictions.

Along with a third woman they will all appear back before Strabane Magistrates Court on February 18.

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