Londonderry: Carlin brothers jailed for violent crime spree

DERRY Bishop's Street Court house
Image caption Both men were sentenced at the city's crown court on Friday

Two brothers have been given a six year jail sentence for a drug and alcohol fuelled spate of violence in Londonderry nearly two years ago.

Michael Carlin, 25, and his 20-year-old brother Andrew, from Deramore Drive in the city, pleaded guilty to 31 offences.

They included threatening members of the public with a machete, an imitation firearm and hijacking.

The Carlins will each spend half their sentence in jail and half on licence.

The brothers carried out their multiple crimes over a six hour period on 14 November 2014.

'Hijacked at gunpoint'

Londonderry Crown Court was told that the Carlin brothers attacked a man outside his home at Amelia Court in Ballymagroarty, swinging a machete and a baseball bat at him.

They then went to a Spar shop on the Fairview Road, jumped over the counter and shouted at staff to open the till.

The assistant manager and a security guard fought them out of the shop.

Two hours later, Andrew Carlin forced his way into a house in Galliagh Park, occupied by a couple and their three young children.

He pointed an imitation firearm at the woman and demanded the keys of her car. She pushed the gun away from her face before her husband forced Carlin out.

The brothers then broke into another house at Altcar Park, put the gun to a woman's head and demanded her car keys.

They stole the car and drove off at speed before crashing into a pedestrian railing.

'Drugs and alcohol'

The defendants were involved in three more failed hijackings before fleeing and were arrested by police the following day.

The Judge at Londonderry Crown Court said the Carlins engendered fear, invaded private property and issued threats, one of them in the presence of a child.

"Those effected, no doubt, had to spend many hours and days getting over what had happened and having property and vehicles repaired with presumably cost to themselves.

"The defendants carried out their crime spree following the consumption of various drugs including mephedrone, diazepam and cocaine - and following the consumption of a great deal of alcohol", the Judge added.

Both men told a probation officer, during the preparation of pre-sentence reports, that they carried out their violent offending after they had broken up with their respective partners

The Judge ordered that the Carlin brothers must not live together after their release from prison.

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