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Man caught with valium who resisted arrest told he is ‘skirting and flirting with immediate custody’

As police tried to arrest the defendant he tensed his arms and kicked out which led to him being restrained on the ground

Armagh Magistrates Court

A Lurgan man has been warned that if he continues to offend he will be going back to prison after he was caught with valium tablets.

The district judge told the 27-year-old: “You are getting into the bad area where you are skirting and flirting with immediate custody.”

Gary Colin McKinstry, of Grattan Street, pleaded guilty to resisting police and possession of a C drug at Armagh Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday.

Defence solicitor Conor Downey stated: “He has previous relevant convictions and a breach of a conditional discharge for similar offences. It is a matter for your worship if you wish to deal with it today.”

Prosecution outlined that on November 6, at 10.20pm, police on patrol of Church Walk in Lurgan observed a vehicle with the defendant and another male inside.

Both individuals appeared intoxicated and during a search police located a small bag containing 10 yellow tablets, which were later identified as valium, in McKinstry’s pocket.

A further two loose tablets were found in the defendant’s pocket and in the vehicle.

McKinstry was cautioned for the offence and made no reply. As police tried to arrest the defendant he tensed his arms and kicked out which led to him being restrained on the ground.

Later during interview, McKinstry made full admissions and accepted the tablets were a Class C substance.

Mr Downey commented that this was on the “lower end scale” of the defendant’s offending.

Deputy District Judge Liam McStay stated: “You have a bad record. The court has been persuaded in the past to give you a combination order and a conditional discharge but you are getting into the bad area where you are skirting and flirting with immediate custody.

“It is true that you have not been as frequently before the court but if this continues, you will be going back into custody.”

McKinstry was sentenced to two months in prison suspended for 18 months.

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