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Armagh man who ran from police hid in toilet stall at city bingo hall

Defendant 'serving a life sentence by instalments and needs to break the cycle'

An Armagh man who attempted to escape police by hiding in the toilets at a bingo hall in the city has been handed a two-month prison sentence.

The 25-year-old’s defence said his client was “serving a life sentence by instalments” and he needed the chance to break that cycle.

Jody Curry, of Barrack Hill, pleaded guilty to obstructing police at Armagh Magistrates’ on Tuesday, as he appeared via video link from Maghaberry.

Court heard on July 17 police had reason to speak to the defendant on Linenhall Street as they recognised him and understood bail conditions forbade him from being in the area.

Curry was asked to set items down that he was carrying for the purpose of a search.

He then dropped all of his belongings before running off.

Police lost sight of him but were made aware by a member of the public that he had entered Boyles Bingo.

During a search of the premises, officers found the defendant hiding in a toilet stall.

Curry submitted to a breath test which he failed and was subsequently arrested.

Defence barrister David McKeown accepted the defendant had an “horrendous record”, informing the court that at the time he had been on High Court bail.

He said this had been granted with “very robust conditions and support structures”.

This, Mr McKeown, had included counselling on drug and alcohol addiction, along with help in gaining and furnishing the defendant with his own home.

Mr McKeown said that the defendant had been “panicked” by the sight of police as “he knew how lucky he was to get bail”.

He added that Curry was “fearful all that had been put in place would be taken away from him”.

Mr McKeown added: “This man is serving a life sentence by instalments and needs to break the cycle.”

Curry, who has been in custody since the day of the bail breach, was sentenced to two months in prison with his defence saying he hoped to mount a fresh bail application for his client.

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