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Ex-soldier on ball bearing attack charges

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Aug 08,2022


THIS is the decorated ex-special forces soldier accused of bombarding his neighbours with metal ball bearings.

A court was told that Ivan Jason Giles indiscriminately launched “in excess of 500 ball bearings” using a catapult in a 10-month intimidation campaign as his neighbours’ sporty cars backfired and exacerbated his post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The ball bearings damaged a car and three properties, as well as striking two men. At one stage, investigating police “had to take cover” as they were speaking to the victims.

Appearing at Newtownards Magistrates Court by video-link from police custody, Giles (47) confirmed he understood the 23 charges against him alleging that between last October and August this year, he committed 12 counts of criminal damage, two counts of attempted criminal damage, three counts of common assault, two counts of assault on police, two counts of harassment and two counts of intimidation causing a person to leave their residence or occupation.

The court heard that unbeknown to Giles’ neighbours, their backfiring sports cars were exacerbating the PTSD he developed as a result of his 21-year Army career, which involved tours in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Basra in Iraq where he witnessed “terrible things” such as murders and mass graves.

A PSNI constable said the police estimated that more than 500 ball bearings were fired over the 10 months, resulting in “upwards of £20,000 of damage”.

A neighbour who works as a nurse has left her home and is refusing to return the property, the court heard.

Revealing that the accused had spent more than 20 years in the military where he “served with distinction” in war zones before “being basically left out to dry,” defence solicitor John Keown said Giles suffered from PTSD and the neighbour’s backfiring sports cars made that worse.

“My primary concern is to safeguard the people of Bangor,” said District Judge Mark Hamill.

Granting bail in the sum of £500 with a surety of £500, the judge said Giles had to live at an approved address and was barred from Bangor. The case was adjourned to August 24.

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