Londonderry man 'could not afford to power electronic tag'

A man who was electronically tagged while on bail awaiting trial for fraud claims he was so penniless that he could not afford to pay for the electricity needed to power his tag.

Gerard Cutliffe, of Londonderry, was tagged as part of his bail conditions.

He was arrested on Tuesday evening after the device shut down.

Mr Cutliffe's solicitor suggested security firm G4S, which manages the tagging system, could put some money in his client's electricity meter.

Paddy McDermott, defending, told the court that Mr Cutliffe contacted G4S to tell them he had no money to power the device.

They responded by informing the police that the defendant had breached his bail conditions.

Mr McDermott said his client accepted the breach but said it was caused by a strange set of circumstances and a common-sense approach could have been adopted by G4S.

District judge Barney McElholm removed the tagging condition and released the defendant on continuing bail.