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Man who called police ‘dirty black b*******’ given chance to ‘break cycle of offending’

Defence says client's St Patrick's Day behaviour case of 'drink's in, wit's out'

An Armagh man who called police officers “dirty black b*******” has been handed a community service order to help him “break the cycle of offending”.

The incident happened on Saint Patrick’s Day, with the 21-year-old’s defence claiming it was a case of “drink’s in, wit’s out”.

Liam Rice, of St Patrick’s Park, pleaded guilty to disorderly behaviour at Armagh Magistrates’ on Tuesday.

The court heard that on March 17 police were called by ambulance staff who were dealing with an “obnoxious” female on Thomas Street in the city.

Officers arrived and entered the ambulance finding that the female required no medical assistance.

She was found to be intoxicated and was sent home.

Whilst police were engaging in this the defendant began to shout and roar at them.

Rice tried to intervene in officers carrying out their duty and was asked to stay back.

The defendant continued to shout telling the police “you are disgraceful b*******”.

Officers then told Rice that they were going to activate their body worn cameras at which point the defendant told them “you are dirty black b*******”.

Defence claimed this had been a case of “drink’s in, wit’s out”, adding that Rice was currently getting his life back on track.

Court heard that the female in question was the defendant’s long-term girlfriend with whom he now lived.

It was also explained in court that Rice had started to address his alcohol issues and was trying to gain employment within construction.

Defence counsel asked that if a community service order were imposed that hours be fewer in order for the defendant to have a better positive long-term with the promise of employment.

Deputy District Judge Peter Prenter sentenced Rice to 75 hours of community service and one year of probation.

This, he stated, was to aid rehabilitation and help the defendant “break the cycle of offending”.

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