Man (29) accused of making hoax bomb calls in Limavady

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A man with a Limavady address who is accused of phoning in false bomb warnings and verbally abusing call handlers has been released on bail and told he is “going to be living in 1952” after being banned from having a mobile phone or accessing the internet.

Paul Ireland (29), of Eventide Gardens, appeared at Coleraine Magistrates Court on Monday accused of falsely phoning 999 at 4.30am on Saturday that there was a “bomb” at the ‘Spar Flats’ in Limavady.

He also faces a second charge of making a false report on the same date that unknown persons were alleged to have placed a bomb in a public place.

A police officer believed she could connect the accused to the charges.

She said it was a breach of bail as Ireland had previously been in court on May 3 on similar charges.

Previously, he was accused of making a hoax call about a bomb at Drumachose Park, Limavady, in April and was further charged with persistently making improper use of a communications network and wasting police time.

A call handler was allegedly called a “black b-stard” and on another occasion Ireland had given his name to a call handler, the officer said.

As part of the bail he was not to contact the 999 or 101 numbers unless in a genuine emergency.

The officer said at the weekend police received a call from a mobile number which hung up and as part of protocol the number was called back when a man said: “Bomb at the Spar Flats, Limavady.”

The recording was played back and the officer said it was Ireland’s voice.

The officer said Ireland denied he made the call saying the phone was not his and it was made when he was having a house party with 10 people present and any one of them could have made the call.

When told it was a Belfast accent, Ireland said to police: “There are four of us - it could be anyone” which the officer said was a reference to Ireland’s brothers.

The officer said police believe it was Ireland and that he is not taking his bail seriously.

A defence solicitor said Ireland was adamant it was not his phone number although he said his client was admitting an earlier incident which he said was down to “drunken stupidity”.

Releasing Ireland on £500 bail with a curfew and alcohol ban, Deputy District Judge Sean O’Hare banned the defendant from phoning 999 except in an emergency.

He is also banned from having a mobile phone or any internet-capable device, even a “Smart TV,” the judge said.

Judge O’Hare told Ireland: “You are going to be living in 1952 if you want to get out on bail”.

The case has been adjourned until Limavady Magistrates Court in June.