Northern Ireland

Londonderry man fined despite fear of 'death threat'

A Londonderry man has been fined £200 for failing to attend court in the city, despite saying he is living under a death threat.

Michael McLaughlin, of Mimosa Court in the Waterside, did not appear at Londonderry Magistrates Court on Friday.

The 24-year-old was due to answer a charge of breaching a probation order imposed by the court last December.

The court heard that he was absent because of threats made against him.

But District Judge Barney McElholm opted to fine him for the breach.

When told by Mr McLaughlin's solicitor that his client was told he would be executed on sight, Judge McElholm said only the state could execute people and added: "Murder is the term that these thugs should use."