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Man ‘went berserk’ at hostel and charged at police armed with a mop

Defendant lay on his arms to prevent handcuffing and banged head on floor

A man who “went berserk” and charged at police armed with a mop in an Armagh hostel has been sentenced to three months in prison.

It was revealed that the 58-year-old lay on his arms to prevent restraints being put on and banged his head on the floor during the incident earlier this year.

And in a sequel at Armagh Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, Nathaniel Cowan, of Chester Manor in Belfast, pleaded guilty to assault on police and resisting arrest.

The court was told that on June 18 police attended the hostel in Armagh to speak to the defendant about a separate incident when Cowan lost his temper.

The defendant lifted a mop, which was close to hand, and charged at officers.

Police attempted to arrest and restrain Cowan but he lay on top of his own arms so handcuffs could not be put on.

Officers said the defendant “went berserk”, as he began to bang his head off the floor.

Police managed to escort him to one of their vehicles.

Later during interview, Cowan accepted that he had lost his temper.

Defence counsel admitted his client had a record but argued he did not have the “propensity for this type of offence”.

He also conceded that the use of a weapon, albeit a mop, aggravated this charge.

Deputy District Judge Peter Prenter branded Cowan’s behaviour as “reprehensible” and sentenced the defendant to three months in prison.

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