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Man who assaulted police after calling for help sentenced to four months in prison

Armagh Courthouse

A man who assaulted a police officer after he called them for help reporting that he himself had been assaulted has been sentenced to four months in prison.

The judge told the 27-year-old: “You have left me with no choice, you brought the police there and then behaved like this”.

Christopher Toner, of Old Glenarm Road in Larne, appeared for sentencing on assault on police and disorderly behaviour at Armagh Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday.

Prosecution outlined that on June 8, at 4.45am, police received a call from the defendant on Banbrook Hill in Armagh in which he claimed to have been assaulted.

Officers arrived at the address at 5.15am, they spoke to Toner who appeared highly intoxicated.

The defendant was slurring his words and not making much sense, police advised him them would return in the morning to record a statement.

As they went to leave, Toner became aggressive, he began to shout and swear in the hallways of the apartments.

He was advised to stop but continued and then attempted to grab two officers before kicking out at another.

Toner was then arrested and cautioned for the offences before the court.

Defence barrister Kevin O’Hare stated: “Mr Toner is in breach of a suspended sentence for a similar offence and the court is well within its rights to send him to prison.

“Fortunately none of the officers were injured; the irony is that Mr Toner had been the one who called on police this night.”

District Judge Rosie Watters said: “I actually think that is an aggravating feature, to call police and then attack them when they are coming to your aid.

“This happened in June but there appears to have been another incident in October.”

Mr O’Hare stated: “Mr Toner was heavily intoxicated, although that is not an excuse. After the October incident he took himself out of Armagh where his peers reside.

“He now resides with his partner in Larne where she is expecting their first child; he has stopped drinking and has not come to the attention of police since.”

He added: “It would appear that the penny has finally dropped and I would ask your worship to put this to the test.”

Judge Watters said: “In this report, it makes reference to the fact this man does not think there are any repercussions to his actions.

“He was given what I see as a last chance in October 2015, when he was handed a sentence suspended for three years.”

She added: “You have left me with no choice, you brought the police there and then behaved like this.”

Toner was sentenced to four months in prison for this offence.

Mr O’Hare made it known that he wished to have bail fixed to appeal the sentence.

Toner was released on his own bail of £500 which included a complete ban on alcohol.

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