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Man accused of assaulting ambulance staff and three police officers freed on bail

Court heard the 22-year-old has 68 previous convictions including 12 assaults on police, 12 criminal damage and four for having an offensive weapon

Ambulance

A Lurgan man who is accused of assaulting a member of ambulance staff and three police officers has been granted bail.

Court heard that the 22-year-old has 68 previous convictions, including 12 for assault on police, 12 for criminal damage, four for being in possession of an offensive weapon and four for serious assaults.

Jonathon Barton, of Alexandra Square, appeared charged with disorderly behaviour, two counts of criminal damage, resisting police and three counts of assault on police at Craigavon Magistrates on Friday, via videolink from Maghaberry.

The case had been listed for the purpose of a bail application.

A constable who was present stated that this was being objected to.

She outlined that on February 12, at 8.30pm, police received a report from the Ambulance Service regarding a male who had assaulted an ambulance staff member and damaged a defibrillator on Kitchen Hill, Lurgan.

It was alleged the male was the defendant and he was aggressive toward police and had to be restrained.

During this struggle, Barton is alleged to have assaulted three officers and to have broken glasses belonging to one of them.

The defendant was subsequently arrested by police and taken to Banbridge Custody Suite.

The constable stated that Barton was a prolific offender who had been managed for the past eight years. She also stated that the defendant had “serious” drug and alcohol problems.

It was outlined by the constable that the defendant had 68 previous convictions including 12 for assault on police, 12 for criminal damage, four for being in possession of an offensive weapon and four for serious assaults.

She said: “Most of his offending is as a result of his problems with substance abuse. It would appear his offending is escalating and police do not believe there are bail conditions which could prevent this.”

Defence counsel stated: “His last assault on police was over two-and-a-half years ago. Looking at his record it would appear his offending has tapered off in the last few years.”

The constable commented that there was one outstanding matter against the defendant for which he is on police bail.

Barton’s legal representative replied: “That was an alleged robbery. He was not picked out by the injured party in a VIPER line up. A short time after this robbery he was stopped and none of the items were found on him.”

The defendant was granted his own bail of £250, with conditions including that he sign with police three times a week, wear an electronic tag and refrain from taking either drugs or alcohol.

The case was adjourned until March 20, whilst the prosecution await a full file.

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