Offences linked to drug misuse, court hears

Contest date set in assault case

The case was heard at Craigavon Magistrates' Court.

Staff Reporter

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A court has been told how a defendant is looking “to clear the decks” after pleading guilty to four offences at Craigavon Courthouse.

Appearing via video-link from Maghaberry, the case of Michael Cullen, (27), of Lagmore Dale, Dunmurry, was heard during the sitting on Friday, June 17.

The court heard that on August 6 last year, police were tasked to a report of a prisoner at Craigavon Area Hospital who was there with two prison officers from Maghaberry.

They reported to police that they were with the defendant who was getting treatment for a number of hours and he wasn’t happy due to being handcuffed in a certain way.

It was alleged that he started getting agitated and spat at them both, as well as hitting them a number of times in the face and head area.

Whilst police were at the hospital, they observed the defendant spitting at the screen that had been placed around him and between him and the prison officers a number of times.

Cullen was swearing and being disorderly with other sick patients in close proximity and was warned about his behaviour but continued this.

As such, the defendant pleaded guilty to charges of disorderly behaviour, criminal damage and two counts of common assault.

Peter Coiley, defending, stated that Cullen was in custody at the time and that his offending was linked to drug misuse but it was justification for his behaviour.

It was added that the defendant has pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity and has a remorse for his actions, but that he has a number of matters elsewhere that he wishes to deal with.

District Judge Bernie Kelly said: “This sort of behaviour in a hospital has to be condemned.”

The Judge imposed a four months imprisonment for each offence, with all periods of custody to run concurrently with each other.

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