Northern Ireland

Londonderry man 'threatened to kill social worker'

A Londonderry man has denied threatening to kill a social worker he allegedly blamed for creating problems in his relationship.

John McGinley, 39, from Bloomfield Park, is accused of making the threat to an individual who was checking his domestic arrangements.

A prosecuting barrister told the High Court Mr McGinley said he would put a mask on and kill the social worker "for what he had done".

A bail application was adjourned.

The court heard that Mr McGinley had a long and complex history of mental health problems.

His barrister said he had now moved in with his partner and her children, "and naturally enough social services... wanted some form of reassurance he was a suitable person for living in that environment.

"Unfortunately for him he felt he was being unfairly criticised and singled out."

Mr Justice McLaughlin emphasised the seriousness of the accusation.

"This is not some drunken yobbo shouting at the police in a situation where this is disorder.

"This is in the context of a child protection meeting.

"He's being asked about his background and his reaction is, 'this guy ruined my life, I'm going to kill him'."

The judge said social workers are entitled to make the proper enquiries to ensure children are safe.