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Man accused of assaulting officer and calling him an ‘English c**t’ claims police ‘heavy handed’

Court heard the accused is currently subject to a suspended sentence and has 172 previous convictions

Armagh Magistrates' Court

A Portadown man who is accused of assaulting a police officer has been refused bail despite claims by his solicitor that police had been heavy handed.

Court heard that the 28-year-old was alleged to have struck the officer to the left hand side of his face and to have referred to him as an “English c***” on multiple occasions.

Jodie Curry, of North Street, was charged with disorderly behaviour, obstructing police, criminal damage, resisting police and assault occasioning actual bodily harm at Armagh Magistrates’ Court, sitting at Newry.

Appearing via videolink from police custody, the defendant confirmed that he understood the charges and he was connected to the same by a constable.

Defence solicitor Jim McGinnis made no question to the connection and informed court an application for bail, which was opposed, was being made on his client’s behalf.

Outlining the background to the charges, the constable stated that at 4.30pm on September 12, officers on patrol of the Garvaghy Road, Portadown, received a radio transmission from colleagues.

This contact was in relation to providing assistance in the searching of three males, one of which was this defendant, at the SuperValu store nearby.

Police followed the males into the People’s Park. Curry is alleged to have banged on the passenger side window of a police vehicle and as an officer began to alight he walked off.

Court heard the officer pursued the defendant in his vehicle and whilst standing in the middle of the road the defendant is alleged to have then banged on the bonnet.

At this point, the officer attempted to arrest Curry who is then alleged to have become aggressive, striking the officer on the left hand side of his head before placing his hands on his throat.

PAVA spray was deployed but had no affect. The defendant was later restrained against the bonnet of the vehicle with help from other officers.

The constable told court that Curry is accused of shouting and swearing throughout the incident.

The defendant is alleged to have called the officer, a native on the UK mainland, an “English c***” on numerous occasions and to have told him to take off his body worn camera in order to engage in a fight.

Warned about spitting during exchanges, Curry is also alleged to have remonstrated that he had done so on the ground.

Outlining objections, the constable stated that the address provided by the defendant was found “not to be his” following conversations with the Housing Executive.

She added that Curry was currently subject to a suspended sentence and had 172 previous convictions.

The constable also expressed fears that the defendant would not adhere to bail conditions, having 13 breaches since 2015.

During questioning of the constable, Mr McGinnis established that no illegal substances were found on his client.

The solicitor claimed that he would be seeking “independent witnesses” with his client making the case that police had been “heavy handed” and that they had approached him.

Mr McGinnis submitted that subject to an appropriate address the defendant was a suitable candidate for bail.

Deputy District Judge John Connolly stated: “I have listened carefully to what has been said, I must say that the facts concern me, especially the spitting given the current climate not to mention the assault on the officer.”

Bail was refused and the case was adjourned to Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on October 8 for an update.

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