A 32-year-old County Tyrone man has been jailed after taking a Scania horse lorry from an equestrian centre without consent, smashing it through gates and driving it dangerously.

Appearing by video-link was Duane Francis Gerard Farry, from Ashfield Gardens, Fintona, but currently remanded in custody, with Farry admitting a catalogue of offences from the incident, that occurred on July 18 last year.

Omagh Magistrates Court heard how Farry entered Ecclesville Equestrian Centre, got into the horse lorry and then drove it away, smashing through two heavy steel, locked gates, severely damaging them to such an extent they could not be repaired.

Police were alerted and caught sight of the horse lorry being driven at speed along Church Street in Fintona, then turn left into Castletown Square before proceeding to crash into a set of railings with such force they were flattened.


Significant damage was caused overall, including to the horse lorry.

Farry was observed in the driver seat and as police approached he fled on foot, but was arrested a short time later.

During interview, he replied “No comment” to all questions put to him.

A defence barrister said his client pleaded guilty in court at the first available opportunity.

However, he added: “I wouldn’t necessarily say my client was ‘caught red-handed’ as two other individuals were seen running from the vehicle.


“It is accepted he was seen sitting in the driver seat when it was stationary, but police never actually saw who the driver was.”

The defence continued: “He has pleaded guilty, and he knew what the risks were.”

Deputy District Judge Peter Prenter noted the recommended starting point for custody in such matters is three months, which he remarked, “seems low”.

After taking on board a number of aggravating factors in the case, Judge Prenter imposed a total sentence of nine months’ imprisonment and disqualified Farry from driving for three years.