A Judge has lambasted a 21-year-old defendant for “ghastly” language used against a female police officer whilst he was engaged in disorderly behaviour.
The defendant was charged with disorderly behaviour and assault on police.
The court heard that on May 22 of last year, police were on patrol in William Street in Lurgan when they observed a number of males. Police stopped to attempt to defuse an ongoing situation.
The defendant reportedly “repeatedly taunted” an officer, using “vulgar gestures”.
Owing to the level of aggression by multiple parties, the officers present found it appropriate to activate their emergency buttons, resulting in a “significant deployment of police resources”.
Both defendants involved in the incident were arrested.
Joe Rafferty, defending, stated that his client was involved in an altercation but that he “did not start it” and that he believed he was going to be attacked by another party when police arrived.
Mr Rafferty conceded that the defendant had “said some ghastly things to the PSNI officers involved”, stating that Patterson had offered to apologise in person to the officers.
The court was told that Patterson, who was due to appear before the court for caution but was not present, had no prior criminal record.
District Judge Bernie Kelly, taking particular exception to the remarks uttered by the defendant, said: “Here we have yet another generation who thinks that any female merits that sort of language and suggestion. That brightens all of us for hope for the future for our society.
“Twenty-one years of age and he thinks that’s appropriate to a female police officer? How does a 21-year-old arrive at that stage where they think that’s appropriate language to use towards any female?”
District Judge Kelly, who was noticeably shocked at the remarks, said that she was “at a loss” that none of the defendant’s friends had called him out on it.
“That really does not give me hope for the future….that there’s going to be any improvement in attitudes towards females.”
For the disorderly behaviour and assault on police charges, District Judge Kelly imposed a fine of £150 on each, making a total of £300, which the defendant was given 10 weeks to pay.