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Man broke handcuffs in back seat of police car following row with wife

A Co Armagh man broke the handcuffs used to shackled him as he was led into custody by police, a court has heard.

The 35-year-old, of Johnstown Mews, Hamiltonsbawn appeared before Armagh Magistrates’ on Tuesday charged with criminal damage and resisting police arrest.

The incident occurred on March 25, when police were called to an incident at the defendant’s address.

Officers spoke to the defendant, who smelt strongly of alcohol, and when they attempted to arrest him he resisted and shouted: “I’m not going with them”.

He was eventually handcuffed and was placed in the rear seat of a police car to be taken into custody.

On the drive police repeatedly told the defendant to stop moving his wrists as he could harm himself.

However, he continued and eventually escaped the handcuffs, breaking them in the process.

The defendant was later interviewed and admitted to both of the charges levelled against him.

Defence counsel explained that on this night he and his wife had been out drinking at a party.

They added that when the two returned home they had got into a row and a concerned neighbour had called the police.

When officers did arrive the defence told the court he had gone to bed, and in his inebriated and tired state he had “not been aware of why the police were there”.

Court heard that the defendant had been married for 12 years.

Defence counsel pointed out that since his marriage his offending had massively decreased with nothing of relevance occurring since 2005.

District Judge Paul Copeland asked the prosecution what the cost of the handcuffs would be; they could not answer.

This prompted the judge to say “if they were of a quality that allowed this man to break them, I imagine they couldn’t cost much”.

He was ordered a fine of £200, along with the offender’s levy of £15.

The prosecution did then find an invoice for the cost of the handcuffs of £44.98. The defendant was made to pay this cost in the way of compensation.

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