Electronic tag 'only works upstairs', court hears

A man charged with breaching his bail conditions has told a court the electronic tagging system installed his home only works upstairs.

Gerard Anthony Kelly, 35, from Corrody Road in Londonderry, was released on bail last week.

A police officer told the city's magistrates court the system in the defendant's home indicated he was out.

He was remanded in custody while the police contact the firm which runs the monitoring system.

The monitoring system was installed in Mr Kelly's home after he was released on bail on charges of possessing petrol bombs, riotous behaviour, aiding and abetting the possession of petrol bombs and inciting others to commit riotous behaviour in the Bogside on the day of an Apprentice Boys parade.

As part of his bail conditions he was electronically tagged and ordered to observe a curfew.

Defence solicitor Paddy McGurk said the system was faulty and only worked upstairs, but his client spent most of the day downstairs and slept downstairs.

The investigating police officer said he was aware of similar problems with the monitoring system in other buildings, and said that in similar cases G4S, which runs the system, had to try several times before they could get a signal.

District Judge Barney McElholm said the situation was "bizarre", and said he was not prepared to release the defendant until he heard from G4S.

He said if Mr Kelly's version was vindicated, it was a "totally unsatisfactory situation".

The investigating officer said he would attempt to contact G4S and then report back to the court.

The case was adjourned until Thursday.