Man, 62, charged with cutting engine wires on rally car

June 19, 2022

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

John Crothers, a 62-year-old, appeared at a special sitting of Letterkenny District Court accused of damaging the car of rally driver Richard Hall.

Mr Hall had been due to take part in the Historics section of the rally.

The accused, of Ballynashee Road, Glenwherry, Ballymena, County Antrim, faces a total of three charges.

All charges are alleged to have occurred at Ballyraine, Letterkenny on June 18, 2022.

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.

Garda Maeve Logue gave evidence of arresting Crothers at 10.15am on Saturday at Ballyraine,

Crothers was conveyed to Letterkenny Garda station, where he was charged at 5.48pm with an offence contrary to Section 2 (1) of the Criminal Damage Act, 1991.
Crothers made no reply after caution.

Sergeant Jim Collins said the matter requires directions from the Director of Public Prosecutions and there may be further charges proffered.

Bail was granted with a number of conditions attached. The accused lodged €495 in cash bail. Crothers had to provide Gardaí with a phone number on which he can be contacted.

He is not to interfere or contact, directly or indirectly, Mr Hall or any of his equipment.

Legal aid was granted to solicitor, Mr Rory O’Brien.

Judge Éiteáin Cunningham adjourned the case until September 5.