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‘Drunken lout’ lashed out at police at hostel and later took to spitting when taken to hospital

District judge tells defendant to 'grow up' as he jails him for a month

Linen Court Hostel

An Armagh teenager who assaulted police and spat on hospital equipment has been jailed for a month.

The district judge told the 18-year-old he needed to “grow up” and deal with his alcohol problem or he would be before the court again.

Ethan Ian McDowell, of Linenhall Street, pleaded guilty to two counts of assault on police, resisting police and criminal damage at the city’s Magistrates’ last Tuesday, where he appeared via videolink from Hydebank.

Court heard that on March 29, police were called to a disturbance at the Simon Community hostel in Armagh involving the defendant.

McDowell was being verbally abusive to staff and residents.

He was also attempting to access out of bounds areas within the accommodation.

When police arrived it was noted that the defendant was heavily intoxicated; he was asked to calm down several times but refused.

McDowell proceeded to punch a wall in the hostel before throwing a punch at one of the officers.

This officer moved back to avoid the fist of the defendant before restraining him.

McDowell resisted as police tried to arrest him.

He was subsequently taken to Craigavon Area Hospital for treatment.

Whilst there the defendant spat on the floor and beds of triage along with equipment therein.

He also attempted twice to swing his head at one officer before kicking out at another, who also managed to avoid being hit.

When interviewed, McDowell claimed he had been drinking since 6pm and could not remember anything after 8pm.

He said all he could remember was waking up in police custody.

Defence counsel stated: “He spat on the floor. There was no real damage but I do not want to minimise the nastiness of the offence.

“He has no recollection of the events and is fully apologetic.”

Addressing how McDowell found himself in hostel accommodation, he said: “It was his drinking and his behaviour, his family had enough especially as he has two younger siblings in the house.”

District Judge Brian Archer stated: “This is your first stay in custody, I hope you have learned a lesson.

“I could extend your stay. I would not lose a night’s sleep over sentencing you to six months”.

He continued: “The last thing police want to deal with is a drunken lout. They brought you to the hospital because of concerns about your well being.

“You should be ashamed of yourself.”

McDowell was sentenced to one month in prison for the offences.

District Judge Archer told the defendant: “I’ve been very lenient, you are 18 years of age you have to grow up.

“If you have a problem with alcohol, contact your GP and deal with it, otherwise you will be before this court again in a couple of months.”

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