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Man resisted police arrest as he ‘just wanted to spend Christmas with his children’

Court heard he was handed a three month sentence just three days after the incident and spent the festive period in jail

A Gilford man resisted being arrested by police on foot of a bench warrant as he wanted to spend Christmas with his children.

Court heard the 28-year-old was handed a three month sentence just three days after the incident and spent the festive period in jail.

Edward Cowley, of Hill Street, appeared for sentencing on criminal damage, disorderly behaviour and resisting police at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court, via videolink from Maghaberry.

Prosecution outlined that on December 15, at 9.30am, police spotted the defendant, who was wanted for interview in relation to other matters, on Castle Street in Gilford.

Officers attempted to arrest Cowley but he became aggressive and had to be restrained on the ground.

The defendant shouted obscenities at police whilst being restrained. Ths was in a street full of people, given the time of day.

Cowley was placed in a police vehicle and whilst inside he spat on the ground and kicked the ceiling damaging a light.

Defence solicitor Chris Logue stated: “The reason he reacted like he did, although there is no excuse, was he had been in hospital for a week or a week and a half. A bench warrant was put in place.

“He had phoned me saying that it was so close to Christmas, he had no address to go to and he just wanted to spend Christmas with his children.”

He added: “He had planned on handing himself over to police after Christmas, he knew he had messed up and would be spending Christmas on his own in prison.”

District Judge Steven Keown commented that Cowley was handed a three month sentence just three days after this incident.

Mr Logue stated: “He pleaded guilty to those matters, there was bail to appeal but he never signed that and it ended up being time served.

“He has served the equivalent of a two month sentence for these offence. He wants to get out and get back to looking after his children.”

He added: “This is the best I have seen him. The mental health treatment, the medicine and the exercise seems to be helping, I have never seen him look better.”

District Judge Keown commented: “Is he going to get that same support when he gets out though? Seems he has had prison sentence after prison sentence. His last probation order was in 2011 and he breached that.

“I am going to give him a chance with probation but if he doesn’t take it, he will serve time in custody for these offences.”

Cowley was sentenced to 18 months probation.

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