Derry man in the High Court on child abduction charges

The court heard the hearse was taken from outside a funeral director's in Derry in September 2010.

Mr Ayton drove the vehicle erratically and then used it to collect both his daughter and her friend.

He then drove them into Donegal, with the girls believing he had either been drinking or taking drugs, according to the prosecution.

The High Court has heard how a Derry man stole a hearse and then abducted his teenage daughter and her friend.

Jonathon Ayton took them across the border to Donegal and drove around at high speeds with them in the vehicle for up to 12 hours, according to the prosecution.

A judge was told that 36-year-old Mr Ayton, of Bonds Hill, Derry, is to be prosecuted for two counts of child abduction.

The Court was told that the two friends asked to go home but were not returned until the following morning.

A defence barrister argued that the accused should be released on bail due to the delays in the case.

He said the decision to prosecute for child abduction was only now being disclosed..

Mr Justice Hart acknowledged the length of time the case has taken was unsatisfactory, but he refused the bail application.