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Man ripped off shirt and began shouting about IRA as police attempted to reason with defendant

Court heard he became aggressive, ripped off his shirt and began shouting, making reference to the IRA

Newry Courthouse

A Newry man who assaulted a police officer and urinated in a patrol car has been given a conditional discharge for one year.

The 39-year-old’s solicitor told court: “Whilst there were sectarian comments made and comments of a political nature, at its height this is nuisance behaviour brought about by the consumption of alcohol.”

Brian Ward, of Barcroft Park, had pleas of guilty entered on his behalf to assault on police and criminal damage at the city’s Magistrates’ on Wednesday.

Prosecution outlined that on December 23, at around 8.20pm, police received a report that this defendant was causing a nuisance in Newry.

Upon arrival, officers were approached by Ward, who appeared to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

The police advised the defendant to stay in his home, however, as they went to leave he continued to shout.

Officers tried to reason with him but he soon became aggressive. Ward ripped off his shirt and began shouting making reference to the IRA.

The defendant then swung his right hand connecting with the hand of a constable, and he was subsequently arrested.

Whilst being taken to the patrol car, Ward continue to shout phrases relating to the IRA and then proceeded to urinate in the vehicle whilst en route to custody.

Defence solicitor Peter Hearty commented: “At first blush, the facts suggest this incident was far nastier than it actually was.

“I have known this man a very long time…..whilst there were sectarian comments made and comments of a political nature, at its height this is nuisance behaviour brought about by the consumption of alcohol.”

The solicitor stated that Ward was not someone who would regularly drink but admitted this was “no excuse” for his behaviour.

He said: “He has been out of trouble for well over a year, simply because he had not been drinking.”

With regards to the urination, Mr Hearty stated that this was “not malicious” and his client had “lost control of his bladder” due to the over consumption of alcohol.

District Judge Michael Ranaghan commented: “He does not seem to learn from his lessons ever…. I accept this was as a result of the consumption of alcohol but by now he should know if he drinks he gets into trouble.”

Ward was handed a conditional discharge for a period of one year and was ordered to pay a fine of £200, along with the offender’s levy of £15, within 20 weeks.

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