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Tandragee man who called police officers ‘black b******s’ and sang UVF songs jailed

"In terms of his offending it tends to be when police come to him to do bail checks. He doesn't react terribly well to that."

A Tandragee man who, when arrested, branded police officers “black b******s” before singing UVF songs, has been jailed.

Jack Buckley, from Ballybeg Park, appeared in Newry Magistrates’ Court, via videolink from Hydebank prison, charged with a series of offences over three different dates.

A detective constable told the court that, on the first occasion on August 20 last year, police were on patrol in Castle Street, Portadown dealing with another matter when they observed the defendant shouting in the street.

When police went over to the bin which he was standing near, he ran off. Police were then forced to extinguish a fire which had been lit in the bin. Buckley re-reappeared a short time later and when police tried to apprehend him, he pushed an officer in the chest and tried to run off.

During the struggle the officer sustained grazes to his knuckles, right forearm, both elbows and left knee. As they tried to get Buckley into the police car he kept fighting and physical force had to be applied to prevent him from breaking free.

During the struggle he continued to push against the officer causing him to fall against the ground. He then attempted to bite an officer and spat out, refusing to get in the car.

On the second occasion – October 19, at 10pm – police received a report from G4S that Buckley was in breach of his 9pm curfew.

Police attended his address at 11.05pm and located him there. Buckely stated he was at home but due to his father running out of electric his tag had gone off.

Police claimed his speech was slurred and he had a strong smell of alcohol coming from his breath. He failed a preliminary breath test which was a breach of bail. He then refused to leave his home and outside the property he began shouting and refused to walk.

He held on to a railing and refused to go towards the police car. He was shouting and swearing on the street. A second crew arrived and attempted to move him towards the police car but he had to be taken to the ground where he headbutted and smashed the back window of the police vehicle.

On December 3, police saw Buckley on Bridge Street in Portadown at around 11.30pm. Police, aware of defendant’s bail conditions, stopped and spoke to him.

Buckley was unsteady on his feet and he became violent and punched an officer in the face and knocked another officer’s hat off. He then struck a female officer with a punch to the face. He kicked another officer in the face and kicked a female officer with such force she fell onto her right knee.

He proceeded to shout at officers calling them “black b******s” and singing songs about the UVF.

Buckley’s defence solicitor, addressing the court, said: “I understand the court will have concerns about the behaviour of this defendant – it’s completely unacceptable, particularly the last incident.

“He’s still a young man. I’m sad to say – and it’s probably evident – that he does have very serious problems with alcohol. Those problems have only recently been accepted.

“This gentleman is clearly now on the police radar and they are keeping a close check on him. In terms of his offending it tends to be when police come to him to do bail checks. He doesn’t react terribly well to that.”

District Judge Peter Prenter said: “Your behaviour is just reprehensible. When you come across the police, for whatever reason, be that in friendly or dealing with them in their business for bail, you must always be courteous to them and comply with what they request; clearly you take umbrage with that.”

The judge refused to grant the compensation order branding it “unrealistic” before sentencing him to two months in custody.

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