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Man who seriously attacked four police officers refused bail

Dungannon Court

A 38-year-old man has been refused bail after attacking four police officers and subjecting them to verbal abuse, the day after sentencing was deferred for similar offending.

George Winston Farrell from Main Street, Clogher is charged with inflicting grievous bodily harm on a police officer, causing actual bodily harm to another, and lesser assaults on two others.

There are also charges of disorderly behaviour and damaging a PSNI vehicle.

Dungannon Magistrates’ Court heard police attended a report of Farrell lying unconscious in Coalisland on October 7.

Officers tried to speak to him but he was incoherent from intoxication.

Assisted to his feet, Farrell staggered into the path of oncoming traffic and when an officer tried to assist him from danger he shouted: “Get your f***ing hands off me.”

While being restrained he bit one officer and kicked out, knocking two others to the ground, yelling, “I’ll bite your f***ing face.”

After caution Farrell replied, “f*** off you tramps. Suck my d***. I do not recognise your s***.”

He then headbutted an officer who sustained a split lip requiring stitches.

Farrell’s behaviour continued, telling police, “if you touch me again, I’ll f***ing kill you.”

By this time a crowd had gathered, some of whom were hostile toward police.

Farrell “tensed up, shouted and swore at a female officer before spitting directly into her face.”

He spat all over the rear of a PSNI vehicle and told the female officer, “i’m going to kick your face with my boot. I’ll get a knife and slice your v***** right up to your mouth.”

Due to his aggression, Farrell was taken straight to a cell but in the process kicked an officer to the thigh and attempted to headbutt him.

This officer also sustained a fractured finger from Farrell’s earlier behaviour.

Objecting to bail the officer said: “The defendant has 107 previous convictions including 32 assaults on police, five serious assaults and 11 disorderly behaviour. He is currently subject to a suspended sentence.”

A defence barrister conceded Farrell was in the same court the day before this incident at which sentencing was deferred on charges of criminal damage and assaulting police.

It transpired he was given an opportunity to avoid imprisonment if he paid £100 for damage caused.

He initially attended court with £30 which the judge said fell far short, and an adjournment was granted for the rest to be gathered.

On return Farrell claimed to have nothing and wasn’t due his next benefits payment for another week, which led to the judge allowing a deferment but warned against further offending and the funds must be paid.

The defence said: “I appreciate this is not a good starting point to mount a bail application.”

He handed in a “statement” from a person who allegedly witnessed contending police were heavy-handed with Farrell, however, District Judge Michael Ranaghan noted this was unsigned.

The defence argued bail should be granted with Farrell, who claims to have no recollection of the incident, excluded from Coalisland.

However Judge Ranaghan said: “There is a spit to the face, a bite, a headbutt and an appalling threat to a female officer. Against that is an unsworn statement that police may have been heavy-handed. I’ve said before that I cannot understand how police in this jurisdiction show so much restraint.”

Refusing bail, he added: “This is a hopeless application. It was the day after a deferred sentence. The defendant has no control. I don’t trust him to be on the streets or to have any interaction with police.”

Farrell will appear again by video-link on November 10.

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