Man to stand trial charged with causing criminal damage to rally car before Donegal race

A man is to stand trial charged with causing criminal damage to a rally car belonging to a competitor at the Donegal International Rally.

John Crothers (62) was previously charged at a special sitting of Letterkenny District Court of damaging the car of rally driver Richard Hall.

Mr Hall had been due to take part in the historics section of the rally in June, 2022 but his car was allegedly interfered with before the race.

The case had been adjourned to allow forensic officers time to examine a snips, or shears, which gardaí suspected was used to cut wires on Mr Hall’s car.

The Director of Public Prosecutions has now decided that Crothers should stand trial before a judge and jury at the next sitting of Letterkenny Circuit Court.

The accused, of Ballynashee Road, Glenwherry, Ballymena, Co Antrim, faces three charges.

Crothers is accused of cutting the fuel pump switch, the fan switch, three wires to the rev limiter and the safety switch of 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 would believe it would be carried out, to damage Mr Hall’s 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.

Crothers had been released on bail.

The case was called at Letterkenny District Court this week where Gda Sgt Jim Collins said the DPP had directed that the case be heard on indictment.

He sought a future date for the presentation of a book of evidence in the case.

Judge Eiteain Cunningham adjourned the case until September 25th to allow time for a book of evidence to be prepared in advance of the next sittings of the Letterkenny Circuit Court in October.

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