Court hears how defendant called officers d***s

Court hears how defendant called officers d***s

The case was heard at Craigavon Magistrates' Court.

Staff Reporter

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Friday 16 September 2022 13:00

A Lurgan man, who called police d***s and assaulted an officer, has been warned to fully co-operate with probation after being imposed with community service.

The case of Donald Patrick Cooper, (50), of Gilpins Mews, was heard at Craigavon Courthouse sitting on Wednesday, September 14.

The court heard that on November 29 last year, police were called to the Portadown Road, Lurgan, in a response to a call for the Ambulance Service after a male reported to say that he was suicidal.

The defendant was located and he was seen to be staggering, having a slurred speech and there was an empty bottle of Fireball whiskey on the ground.

Cooper told officers he was suicidal and he agreed to go to Craigavon Area Hospital, but whilst being conveyed, the defendant began to become abusive in the rear of the police and he put his forehead against a police officer’s forehead in an attempt to headbutt him.

Upon arrival, the defendant was given an opportunity to enter the Hospital and book himself in, which he agreed but when officers left, he returned to police and began shouting at them in front of members of the public.

He was warned to stop which he initially did and he used foul language by calling the officers d****s.

Police attempted to caution the defendant for disorderly behaviour and he slapped an officer’s hand away in defiance when he was being arrested.

The defendant was brought to the ground in a controlled manner where he kicked an officer’s left leg.

In his defence, the court was told that Cooper lost his job during lockdown and the offences didn’t take place inside the Hospital building.

It was added that the defendant was “shocked and ashamed” by his behaviour but he is back in employment and he entered guilty pleas at the earliest opportunity.

District Judge Bernie Kelly told the defendant: “The entire country was in lockdown.

“The entire country didn’t decide to binge drink for several days and then leave themselves in the position you found yourself in.

“To behave in the fashion you behaved yourself in is totally and absolutely unacceptable.

“The idea you’d behave like this in the middle of a pandemic when hospital staff are stretched to their absolute limit, and because life isn’t going the way you want it to go, you’re entitled to behave in a way that adds further strain on emergency services.”

The Judge imposed a community service order of 200 hours for the two offences.

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