Delays in bow and arrow case

District Judge Barney McElholm has ordered a decision must be made next month on the procedure of a case against a Derry man accused of attempting to shoot his neighbour with a bow and arrow in the Brandywell area of the city at the start of the year.

Brian Gerald Forbes (48), from Glenanne, who was remanded in custody after appearing at Derry Magistrate’s Court on January 4, charged with attempted murder; making threats to kill; common assault; possession of an offensive weapon and criminal damage; had been due to appear via videolink yesterday.

However, Forbes’ defence solicitor Eugene Burns told the court that his client was unable to appear as he was now resident at the Shannon Clinic, a secure psychiatric treatment unit in Belfast. Mr. Burns said he understood the procedure of his client’s case had been delayed due to delays in the provision of a police forensics report. But Mr. Burns suggested to the court that a forensics report might not be required as Forbes acknowledged various items, including a “bow, arrows and axe” allegedly involved in the alleged offences, belonged to him.

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District Judge McElholm said that the “very fact that he is in the Shannon Clinic should not be an excuse”. He adjourned the case until June 8 but ordered “there must be a decision in this case and I don’t want to hear forensics mentioned again”

“If he was denying anything to do with it...but exactly the opposite is the case,” he said.