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Suspended jail for man who showed police middle finger and called them ‘w*****s’

Turned up late to court as he wanted to see child in case he was sent to jail

Craigavon-Courthouse

A Craigavon man who was given six weeks to find work by a judge has been handed a suspended sentence after failing to do so.

The 25-year-old turned up late to court and explained it was because he wanted to see his child in case he was sentenced to prison.

Wayne McKeown appeared before Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Friday charged with disorderly behaviour.

The court heard this related to an incident on July 8 last year, when police on mobile patrol spotted a group of people at the Watersports Centre.

The group made off except for the defendant who began shouting at officers and showing his middle finger.

After being advised about his language McKeown continued to verbally abuse police and calling them “w*****s”.

It was noted by officers that the defendant appeared under the influence as his eyes were glazed and he was unsteady on his feet.

Defence counsel commented that McKeown was “regretful” and understood that “this behaviour cannot be tolerated”.

Upon hearing the defendant had failed to find work after she advised him to do so six weeks ago, District Judge Kelly said: “You sign up for an agency, within less than a week they are in touch with you.

“In a period of six weeks, not a single person in an agency has contacted you?”

Defence said defendant had been with “some agencies” for the last six months and had engaged in “some temp work”.

Judge Kelly said: “If he was worth his salt he would have turned that into full time.”

She continued: “You have a very poor record for offences of this type, which I presume are all alcohol-fuelled.”

McKeown was sentenced to six months in prison suspended for two years.

The judge told him: “This is in the hope that with this hanging over your head you might grow up.”

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