An Armagh man who attempted to punch door staff at a city bar before branding police officers “black b******s” has been given 80 hours community service.
Aaron Francis Taggart, with an address of Cathedral Road, appeared before Armagh Magistrates’ Court – sitting in Newry, via videolink from Maghaberry – on Tuesday morning.
The 40-year-old faced charges of disorderly behaviour, assault on police and criminal damage.
The court heard that on Saturday, January 28 at around 10.15pm, a report was made to police of an extremely intoxicated male outside a bar on Lower English Street in Armagh.
On arrival, police spoke with doorstaff at a bar who alleged that the defendant attempted to punch them, but missed. They pointed out the defendant – Taggart – who was still in the area.
Police interacted with the defendant who was warned that his behaviour was disorderly, however, he persisted in calling police “black b******s”.
Taggart was arrested for disorderly behaviour and common assault. He was restrained on the ground and began to spit at police, narrowly missing one officer. He was then arrested for assault on police. He was escorted to the cell van where he spat and was further arrested for criminal damage.
Defending, Aisling Brady, said: “He’s maintained his position that he has little to no recollection of that night, however, he has accepted his responsibility and expressed remorse and regret.”
She explained that while there are entries on his record for similar offending “it’s clear the root cause is his prolonged and sustained battle with alcoholism”.
District Judge Anne Marshall queried where Taggart would live upon his release to which Ms Brady responded: “He’s been living with a friend in Keady this past few weeks.”
District Judge Marshall, describing his record as “atrocious and relevant”, handed Taggart an enhanced combination order “to see if there is any hope that we can stop this pattern of offending”.
Taggart was ordered to undergo one year of probation as well as the 80 hours of community service.