Defendant threw hammer at staff member, court told

Man left with scars from cigarette burns following 'horseplay'

The case was heard at Craigavon Magistrates' Court.

Staff Reporter

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A Craigavon woman, who threw trolleys and a hammer at staff members at a filling station, has been jailed for eight months.

The case of Elizabeth Henry, (39), of Drumgor Heights, was heard at Craigavon Courthouse sitting on Wednesday, June 8.

The court heard that on October 15 last year, police received a report from a member of staff at a filling station in Craigavon, stating that a female had entered the store from the back entrance which the public had no access to, made her way to the stock room where she ruffled around stock.

The defendant was observed by staff opening a packet of Skips and was eating them before being asked to leave the store.

Henry was verbally abusive to staff and appeared to be under the influence of drink or drugs. The female left the premises, made her to the back yard of the shop and picked up a number of trolleys and chairs. She threw them in the direction of staff members, however did not make contact with them.

The defendant then picked up a hammer from the back yard and again threw it towards a member of staff and it landed a few feet away from him.

Henry climbed a back gate and was followed by members of the staff who contacted police. Whilst at the front of the forecourt, the defendant assaulted a female member of staff by pushing her in the chest, striking her in the arm and spitting in her face.

Henry was arrested for the offences before the court and CCTV footage was obtained, and due to her medical history and behaviour, she was transported to hospital for medical treatment but spat in the back of the police cell on numerous occasions.

Whilst in hospital receiving treatment, Henry made a significant admission to officers by saying: “I lifted a hammer to that wee girl, and that was not right.”

A second set of charges was read out to the court which explained that on March 21 this year, the defendant who was bare foot was arrested for other matters.

It was reported that whilst she was in the police vehicle, she spat all over the vehicle and put her muddy feet on the roof of the car which had to be taken out of service to be cleaned at the cost of £50.

In her defence, the court was told that Henry is “mortified and disgusted” by her behaviour and that she knows what she did was wrong. It was added that she has pleaded guilty to all offences at an early stage and she is a woman who has medical difficulties.

The solicitor acknowledged the difficulties his client has due to her lack of engagement for a pre-sentence report to be obtained.

District Judge Bernie Kelly said: “It would have been explained to you at the outset that the reason the court orders a pre-sentence report is to give the court options other than immediate custody.

“If you choose for the court not to have that report and at the end of the day it is your choice, you decide whether you co-operate with probation, whether you go back to your solicitor, whether you keep in touch with your solicitor, you make all those choices.

“When you choose that the court doesn’t have that report, that only leaves me with one sentencing option.

“Coupled with the fact that these are serious charges, particularly those that involve burglary and spitting on someone is not nice at the best of times, but in the middle of the pandemic to leave them and their families at risk.”

The Judge imposed a two month custodial sentence for the common assault offences, a four month custodial sentence for criminal damage and a four month custodial sentence for burglary. All sentences are to run concurrently with each other.

Regarding the offence on March 21 this year, the defendant was imposed with a four month custodial sentence for criminal damage. However, that sentence was to run consecutively with the offences on October 15 last year – totalling eight months.

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