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Book of evidence served on man accused of cutting wires on rally car before race

A book of evidence has been served on a man charged with causing criminal damage to a rally car belonging to a competitor at the Donegal International Rally.

John Crothers, a 62-year-old from Ballymena, will now go on trial before Letterkenny Circuit Court.

He has been charged with damaging the car of rally driver Richard Hall.

During a brief hearing at Letterkenny District Court, Garda Gillian Page gave evidence of serving the book of evidence on Crothers on Monday morning at Letterkenny courthouse.

Crothers made no reply when cautioned and he did not speak during the hearing before Judge Éiteáin Cunningham.

Sergeant Jim Collins told the court that the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has consented for Crothers being forwarded for trial the next sitting of Letterkenny Circuit Court, which commences on October 17 next.

Crothers is accused that he did, without lawful excuse, damage property, to wit, cut the fuel pump switch, the fan switch, three wires to the rev limiter and the safety switch of a motor car, a Ford Escort, belonging to Richard Hall, intending to damage such property or being reckless as to whether such property would be damaged.

Crothers is further charged with making a threat intending that Mr Hall to believe it would be carried out, to damage property, to wit, a motor vehicle, a Ford Escort rally car.

The accused is also charged that he, without lawful authority or reasonable cause, did interfere with the mechanism of a mechanically propelled vehicle, the property of Mr Hall, while such a vehicle was stationary.

All matters have been included in the book, the court was informed.

Judge Cunningham administered the alibi warning and made an order returning Crothers for trial.

Crothers, of Ballynashee Road, Glenwherry, Ballymena, County Antrim, is on bail.