Northern Ireland news

Man charged with illegal collection in Derry

Christopher Gillen (38) of Balbane Pass in Derry was charged with an illegal collection on December 1 2018

A MAN charged in connection with the rioting on the night journalist Lyra McKee was shot dead has been convicted of carrying out an illegal collection.

Christopher Gillen (38) of Balbane Pass in Derry was charged with the illegal collection on December 1 2018.

A prosecution solicitor said there were several witness statements describing Gillen and the manner of the collecting and she contended the offence had been established.

The court heard that another unnamed as a co-accused was not in court as the summons had not been served.

Defence solicitor Paddy MacDermott said that he had specific instructions to offer no evidence even though his client was contesting the charge.

District Judge Greg McCourt said that there were two police statements who saw Gillen collecting money from passing vehicles.

He said that there had been an attempt to hide the collection tins.

The judge recorded a conviction and added that Gillen had nothing previous for offences of this nature.

He imposed a conditional discharge for a period of 12 months.

Gillen was not in court as he is currently in custody charged with rioting, petrol bomb offences and the arson if a truck on April 18 the night journalist Lyra McKee was shot dead.

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