A man who threw roof slates from a Newry hostel at police, hitting three officers, has been sentenced to four months in prison suspended for two years.
Court heard that the 38-year-old also hit the windscreen of a nearby car with a similar object, although no damage was caused.
Aaron Francis Taggart, of Central Promenade in Newcastle, appeared for sentencing on three counts of assault on police, disorderly behaviour, criminal damage and attempted criminal damage at Newry Magistrates’ Court, via videolink from his solicitor’s office.
Prosecution outlined that on March 25, at 5.30pm, police received a report of a male on the roof of the Simon Community Hostel on Bridge Street, Newry.
Officers arrived and spoke to staff who identified the male as this defendant.
Taggart was located on a first floor roof at the rear of the property and debris of smashed roof slates were observed on the ground.
The defendant was seen drinking from a bottle of vodka and upon approach by police began throwing slates at them.
Taggart refused to engage with officers, his behaviour was described as aggressive and erratic, with him allegedly shouting phrases such as “f*** off”, “up the RA” and “black b’s”.
One of the slates thrown by the defendant hit the windscreen of a nearby Ford Focus, although no damage was caused.
Three officers were struck by the items discarded from the roof, one in the back and another to the leg.
The third was hit on the top of their head as they ran for cover in an entry, leaving her with with bruising, a headache and nausea.
Taggart eventually climbed down from the roof at 12.45am and was arrested at 2.34am.
Prosecution told court that the Simon Community had provided an invoice for the damage which was valued at £3,346.80.
Defence barrister Joel Lindsay stated that his client had since had a prolonged stay at the Cuan Mhuire rehabilitation centre and currently benefitted from probation through the auspices of a Combination Order.
District Judge Eamonn King commented that these were “positive factors” which Taggart should continue to engage with.
The defendant was sentenced to four months in prison suspended for two years.
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