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Topless man who shouted “f*** off” to police given chance to stay out of trouble and stay out of jail

Defence described client's situation saying: 'It is simple, do not pass go, do not collect £200 and go straight to Maghaberry'

Craigavon-Courthouse

A topless Lurgan man who swore at police after they arrived at a suspected fight has been given a chance to escape custody.

The 24-year-old’s barrister said the defendant knew the situation he was in stating: “It is simple, do not pass go, do not collect £200 and go straight to Maghaberry.”

Caolan Shannon, 24, of Mary Street, pleaded guilty to disorderly behaviour and resisting police at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.

Court heard that on November 1, at around 4am, police responded to a report of a fight on Ulster Street in Lurgan.

Officers arrived to find the defendant with his shirt off acting aggressively and shouting “f*** off”.

Shannon was asked to calm down by police but refused.

He was subsequently arrested and handcuffed at the rear of the police vehicle.

During this, the defendant kicked out at police hitting two officers to the head and arm.

Defence barrister Damien Halloran stated: “Mr Shannon is no stranger to your worship, in June of last year he was handed a suspended sentence.

“Although it must be noted that this was for offences on Christmas Day 2015.”

He added: “Mr Shannon has talked himself into this offence and was unable to control himself upon the arrival of police.

“He has underlying psychiatric conditions which relate to issues he experienced as a young child.”

Mr Halloran said that the defendant had made “tentative steps” to deal with his alcohol problem and had applied to engage with the Trasna House addiction team.

Court was told that “in spite of his criminal record” Shannon had recently found employment.

Mr Halloran commented: “He now has something to lose by going into custody, he is now able to provide for his young child.”

Court heard the defendant was assessed as having a high likelihood of reoffending by probation.

Mr Halloran stated: “I ask that the court stays its hand as Mr Shannon now knows the situation.

“It is simple, do not pass go, do not collect £200 and go straight to Maghaberry.”

He said this was the defendant’s very last chance as he has live suspended sentences until 2021.

District Judge Bernie Kelly stated: “Mr Shannon you are still very young but by virtue of your age you have a whole lot of your life to live, you can do this in two ways.

“One settle down, see more of your daughter and work to provide a better life for yourself and her.

“Or two, continue on drugs, alcohol and offending, spending longer periods of your life in prison seeing less of your daughter.”

The district judge commented: “There are some chinks of light, you have gained employment, sought help in dealing with addiction and continued to see your consultant.”

Sentencing in the case was deferred for six months, until September 25.

Shannon was told to stay in employment, take support for alcohol and not come to police attention in the intervening period.

District Judge Kelly told the defendant: “If you do this, I will impose a penalty which will not result in you immediately going to prison.”

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