999 call from Lurgan woman subjected to vile sectarian abuse played out in court – Armagh I

Lurgan brothers Adrian and Alistair DouglasLurgan brothers Adrian and Alistair Douglas

Lurgan brothers Adrian and Alistair Douglas

A Lurgan man was so drunk he cannot remember hurling vicious sectarian abuse at a Catholic woman who had been intimidated by him and his older brother from her home, a court heard today.

Craigavon ​​Crown Court also heard how Adrian Douglas, 35, guzzled five bottles of Buckfast while watching a football match between Rangers and Celtic on April 30 last year and how he was caught on CCTV a short time later after Rangers were defeated. Danielle Skelton’s door.

Judge Patrick Lynch KC watched the footage several times today, captured on the victim’s Ring doorbell camera, showing Douglas staggering towards the door, hammering on it repeatedly, and shouting: “Fenians are in here… taigs in here… f* ***** fenian b******… I want to talk to her… looking forward to f***… f****** fenian c***… no rebels here.”

In January, Adrian Douglas admitted harassment, while his older brother, Alister Douglas, 37, admitted aiding his brother in the harassment on April 30 last year.

The Lurgan brothers, of Carrick Drive and Charles Baron Gardens respectively, also admitted attempting to cause criminal damage to a front door belonging to Mrs Skelton on the same date.

Opening the prosecution case today, Crown attorney Nicola Auret admitted that the older defendant had “played a somewhat lesser role” in that he banged on the door once and did not make sectarian comments, but she asked the judge to hold stating that the violations are “aggravated by hostility, aggravated by religion.”

Ms Auret told the court how Ms Skelton had just put her 18-month-old son to bed and was sitting in her living room watching TV when she heard people outside her then home in Ashleigh Crescent being “rowdy”.

A short time later she heard banging and screaming coming from her front door and living room window, which “frightened her to death… and she ran to her bedroom, from where she called her parents and then the police.”

The eight-minute 999 call was played in court: a tearful and emotional Mrs Skelton can be heard repeatedly pleading with the operator to let police come to her house, describing: “I don’t know who’s outside …mine…they’re trying to put my windows in…he’s hammering on my door here.”

Ms Skelton’s verbal description to the counselor matched what her doorbell camera had captured: main character Adrian Douglas was drunk, there were other people around and a woman had tried to lure him away from the door.

The witness is heard telling him, “Adrian, leave now. Your nieces and nephews are watching you. They’re keeping a bloody eye on you.”

He ignores her and, hammering on the door, shouts, “To fuck.”

‘Here I am just smiling, laughing. Someone open the damn door. Bye. F****** fenian c***,” says Adrian Douglas.

Initially, his brother, Alister, also tried to lead him away, but within seconds he changes his tune and, attempting to cover the camera with his hand, tells him to “turn the damn camera off”.

The brothers were arrested a short time after the incident, but both were too drunk to be interviewed until the next day.

And while Adrian Douglas accepted his behavior was ‘disgusting’ and he was ashamed of himself, he claimed he did not know the victim was Catholic.

His brother, on the other hand, told police that “everyone knew she was Catholic.”

Each man claimed there had been sectarian comments, such as ‘huns’, coming from the property in the weeks before the incident.

However, Ms Auret told the court that “that is not accepted by the prosecution”, arguing that there were several aggravating features of the case, including the prolonged nature of the incident, that it was perpetrated against a vulnerable single mother living in her own home, but “the most serious aggravation is the sectarian nature of the incident”.

Adrian Douglas’ lawyer, Patrick Taggart, admitted that “no right-thinking member of society” could ever think his behavior was acceptable, but emphasizing that he has Catholic friends and relatives, “he has no history of sectarian abuse” .

Turning to medical evidence, Mr Taggart revealed that Adrian Douglas acts as a full-time carer for his long-term partner and that some of his children have medical needs, urging the judge to take an exceptional course of action.

Lawyer Conor Coulter said Alister Douglas is “rightly ashamed of his conduct” but argued that, given his lesser role, a community-based order of probation and/or community service would both punish him and enable the self-employed window cleaner would propose to “make some practical reparations to the community.”

Judge Lynch released both men on bail and said he would pass sentence next Thursday.

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