Former Bangor soldier fired ‘more than 500 ball bearings’ at neighbor’s house, causing £20,000 damage, court hears

A decorated former special forces soldier used catapults to indiscriminately launch at least 500 ball bearings at his neighbor’s sports car, a court heard today.

In a case against 47-year-old Ivan Jason Giles that District Judge Mark Hamill called “bizarre,” the Newtownards Magistrates’ Court also heard that ball bearings damaged a car, three different objects, hit two men, and that, at one stage, the investigating police “had to take cover.” when they spoke to the victims.

“Burned ball bearings caused over £20,000 worth of damage,” Constable Johnston said, while defense attorney John Keown acknowledged that the evidence against Giles was “overwhelming… He fully admits he was responsible for these actions.”

Appearing in court via video link from police custody, the balding and bearded Giles of Ashbury Road in Bangor spoke in a low voice to confirm that he understood the 23 charges against him.

In the charges covering the ten-month period from August 28, 2021 to August 3 this year, Giles is charged with 12 counts of criminal mischief, two counts of attempted criminal mischief, three counts of assault, two counts of assault on the police. , two counts. stalking and two counts of intimidation causing a person to leave their place of residence or occupation.

Objecting to Giles’ release on bail, PC Johnston noted that since the incident began, the defendant, who lived about 100 to 150 meters away, had fired “more than 500 ball bearings”.

According to the prosecution, Giles fired bearings at one house 82 times, damaging five cars, six windows, a wooden fence and a garage door.

He also hit the resident with bearings and intimidated him and his partner from their home.

The other allegations involve two adjacent properties, another tenant and six vehicles, and the court heard that an installed security camera was damaged with such force that “it shakes the camera.”

In one incident in late July, Giles is caught on camera “holding a ball-bearing catapult and just launching it.”

Holding up a bag of ball bearings, the officer said that these and other catapults had been confiscated when the police ransacked Giles’ house.

Arrested and interrogated, he refused to answer police questions, even when presented with CCTV footage, but Constable Johnston explained that Giles “has a problem with people” further down the street who have a Japanese imported car, showing that Giles himself filed statement. several complaints about it.

“We have a practice where reports come in from Mr. Giles and then the houses are attacked,” the officer said, adding that “we believe he took matters into his own hands, feeling that the police are doing nothing about it.”

Revealing that Giles spent more than 20 years in the military, where he served “excellent service” in war zones, Mr. Keown said the defendant suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, so a neighbor’s sports car “aggravated that condition.”

“During his time in the army, he saw terrible things, including mass graves,” said the lawyer, who argued that Giles with a clean criminal record could be released and live at a different address.

Calling it a “highly unusual case” in which “thankfully no one was hurt,” Mr Keown said the Giles family had no idea what was going on and were “very concerned” about him.

“My main job is to protect the people of Bangor,” District Judge Hamill said, calling it a “strange case.”

Posting a £500 bail with a £500 surety, the judge stated that Giles must live at the address approved by the police and informed him that he was barred from Bangor, adding that “these are the consequences of the terrorism of these neighbours”.

Giles was also banned from owning or owning a catapult or ball bearings as the case was adjourned until 24 August.