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Armagh man who struck nurse during ‘series of serious offences’ avoids jail

In the first of the two incidents police received a report of a male being disruptive at Callan Taxis on Thomas Street in Armagh

Armagh Courthouse

An Armagh man who kept himself out of trouble during the deferral period on a litany of offences has been handed a suspended prison sentence.

The deputy district judge told the 26-year-old: “You can count yourself lucky that the court saw fit to defer sentencing on such a series of serious offences.”

Jamie Starkey, of Barrack Hill, appeared for the purposes of a deferred sentencing at the city’s Magistrates’ Court, sitting at Newry.

The defendant had previously entered guilty pleas to three counts of disorderly behaviour, five counts of assault on police, two counts of criminal damage, attempted criminal damage, common assault and resisting police.

This litany of offences was accrued by Starkey during two incidents, in November, of 2019, and August, of last year.

Prosecution outlined that on November 26, of last year, police received a report of a male being disruptive at Callan Taxis on Thomas Street in Armagh.

Officers arrived to find this defendant aggressive, shouting and swearing in the street.

This continued despite him being warned and he was subsequently arrested.

Police spoke to a staff member of Callan Taxis, who stated Starkey had kicked at a door between eight and 10 times, this being the attempted damage.

The member of staff had also heard a loud smash and when this was investigated it was found to have been damage caused to a crisp dispenser.

Due to cuts, Starkey was then conveyed to Craigavon Area Hospital, where he continued to be abusive towards staff and police.

He also kicked out, striking a nurse, and was further arrested for these offences.

Then on August 20, at 9pm, police attended reports of a disturbance in Lurgan and upon arrival officers located the defendant in the vicinity.

Starkey smelled of intoxicating liquor and was shouting expletives. This continued despite numerous warnings and he was subsequently arrested.

The defendant resisted this detention, punching and kicking out at officers, before being placed in the rear of the police vehicle.

He continued to obstruct officers on the journey to Lurgan Custody Suite and one officer later discovered that his body worn camera had been damaged during the incident, due to a kick in the chest.

Representing Starkey on the first offences, defence barrister Seamus Lannon stated: “He is aware that the court will take a view dim view of this type of behaviour, especially his conduct in the hospital.”

He also made reference to the defendant having suffered a brain injury a number of years ago but commented that he has “kept himself out of trouble” during the period of deferral.

On the second incident, defence barrister Conn O’Neill added:” Probation is something that he has completed in the past but he has not learned the ultimate lesson of not coming back before the court.”

Deputy District Judge Laura Ivers told Starkey: “You can count yourself lucky that the court saw fit to defer sentencing on such a series of serious offences.”

Starkey was sentenced to 10 months in prison suspended for a period of two years.

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