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Man told combination of medication and alcohol could lead him to kill someone

Defendant sentenced for theft and possessing offensive weapon

A Lurgan man has been warned by a judge that the combination of his medication and alcohol could lead him to kill someone.

Jonathon Byrne, 32, of Alexandra Square, appeared for sentencing for theft and possession of an offensive weapon at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Friday.

Court heard the defendant had committed the latter offence whilst the theft charge had been deferred for sentencing.

Defence counsel stated that Byrne had in fact initially been the victim in the possession of an offensive weapon incident.

She explained that six males had come to the defendant’s home after making threatening and abusive calls.

It was stated that Byrne had called police as the men began banging on the doors and windows of his property.

Shortly before police arrived the defendant exited his house armed with a golf club.

Court heard that no altercation occurred and that Byrne made full admissions when interviewed by police.

Defence counsel said that if this had been the defendant’s only matter before the court there would be no concern, but this happened during a deferral period.

District Judge Bernie Kelly said: “He has had two previous community orders and they have not worked for him.

“That is because the medication he is given is not to be taken with alcohol and instead of giving up alcohol he chooses to stop taking his medication.”

It was revealed the original offence referred to the stealing of alcohol from a Tesco store.

Court also heard Byrne had significant mental health and difficult family issues.

District Judge Kelly stated: “Your alcohol combined with your medication could make you kill someone.

“You are too high risk to replace your medication with alcohol.”

She told the defendant that the people never did get into his house and that anyone would know the best option would be to stay inside.

The district judge handed Byrne a 10 months sentence suspended for two years and warned him: “If I see you again for anything with a possible stay in custody attached you will be going to prison.”

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