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Man who bit police and spat in cell van jailed for three months

Craigavon Courthouse

A Donaghcloney man who bit a police officer and spat in a cell van after punching a man during a dispute has been sentenced to three months in prison.

Michael Redmond Doran, of William Street, appeared before Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Friday via videolink from Maghaberry.

The 30-year-old was charged with disorderly behaviour, common assault, assault on police and criminal damage.

At the outset of the hearing, the court was told that guilty pleas were to be entered on behalf of the defendant for all charges.

The prosecution outlined that on June 21 this year, police attended the defendant’s address, where he appeared to be under the influence of alcohol. Police could smell alcohol and the defendant’s speech was slurred.

Officers were alerted to a fire coming from the rear of the property and observed the defendant shouting at the injured party in the street, before striking him. He was then arrested for common assault.

Doran’s behaviour became more erratic, and he began shouting in the street, attempting to headbutt a police officer.

He was then arrested for disorderly behaviour and, whilst in the police car, he bit the thumb and middle finger of a police officer, causing injury.

Due to his behaviour, he was transported in a cell van. Whilst in the van, he continuously spat and was subsequently arrested for assault on police and criminal damage.

Doran’s defence solicitor explained to the court that it was his client who had initially contacted the police regarding an “unrelated domestic situation”.

The defence argued that police had come to Doran’s house when smoke was seen. The injured party had come running out of the house and Doran had assumed “rightly or wrongly” that he was behind the fire.

“He accepts he overreacted in terms of being dealt with by the police,” he added.

The defence further conceded that the defendant, who has been in custody since June 23, did not have the “best record”.

District Judge Bernie Kelly, presiding, decided that she would not order a pre-sentence report, as the defendant had already spent the equivalent of a three-month sentence in custody.

She imposed a sentence of three months in custody in respect of each of the charges, with all periods to run concurrently.

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