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Suspended sentence for man who tried to spit at police officer ‘at height of pandemic’

The deputy district judge responded to defence's claims his client had acted 'inappropriately' by saying: 'This was not inappropriate, this was disgraceful'

A Newry man who attempted to spit at a police officer during the “height of the pandemic” has been handed a suspended sentence.

The 24-year-old’s barrister told court that his client felt that he had been “wrongly arrested” but accepted that he had acted “inappropriately”.

Evan Walsh, of Upper Edward Street, pleaded guilty to assault on police at the city’s Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.

Prosecution outlined that on April 11, of last year, Walsh was arrested for a matter which is no longer before the court.

Whilst waiting to be booked into custody, the defendant was aggressive verbally towards those in attendance and spat at an officer but missed.

Defence barrister Conor Byrne stated that his client “did not have his troubles to seek”.

He added that Walsh felt that he had been “wrongly arrested” but accepted that he had acted “inappropriately”.

Deputy District Judge Anne Marshall stated: “Inappropriate is an understatement. This was not inappropriate, this was disgraceful.

“He swore and shouted profanities at police officers, he even threatened to headbutt one of them. Then he attempted to spit on one of them, and probably would have hit them if it was not for the officer moving out of the way.”

She added: “This has passed the custody threshold. This was on April 4, 2020 in the height of the pandemic and I am sure the officer was rightly concerned.”

Walsh was sentenced to one month in custody suspended for one year.

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