A Lurgan man who spat and kicked officers who arrested him following reports of a neighbour dispute has been handed a 10 month prison sentence.
The 28-year-old’s solicitor told court: “Putting it delicately and I don’t think I will be corrected on this, these people would be no strangers to this court. These offences come out of Mr Duffy’s indignation that he was the one being arrested.”
Robert Duffy, of James Street, pleaded guilty to criminal damage, two counts of assault on police, resisting police, disorderly behaviour and possession of Class C at Craigavon Magistrates’, sitting at Lisburn, via videolink from Maghaberry.
Prosecution outlined that on March 24, at 5.40pm, police received a report of an ongoing neighbour dispute on James Street in Lurgan.
Officers arrived at around 6pm, to find the defendant banging on the door of the property at which this dispute was alleged to have been occurring.
Upon approach Duffy became aggressive towards police and it was noted by officers that he had cuts to his knuckles.
The defendant was handcuffed but used his legs in order to prevent the officers from placing him in the rear of their vehicle.
He was subsequently taken to the ground, where he continued to struggle, spitting at one officer and kicking another twice to the left leg.
Whilst being detained, Duffy was heard to shout “I’m going to get you, you f***ing tout”, among other phrases of similar intent.
During his arrest, a packet of pregabalin tablets were observed falling from the defendant’s pocket and whilst being taken into custody he caused damaged to the rear of a police vehicle.
Defence barrister Conor Lunny stated: “I think your worship can probably read between the lines, Mr Duffy has had a problem for quite some time with these neighbours.
“Putting it delicately and I don’t think I will be corrected on this, these people would be no strangers to this court. These offences come out of Mr Duffy’s indignation that he was the one being arrested.”
He continued: “He did achieve bail to an address in Belfast and he has spent some time away from his young family. He would wish to return to Lurgan but this is not helped by a second offence involving the same individuals.
“Really it would be his hope to be able to be out of prison for Christmas.”
District Judge Rosie Watters commented: “I have been left with no alterantive but to impose a period of immediate custody.”
Duffy was sentenced to four months in prison for the offences before the court. A suspended sentence was also invoked which dated back in February, making a total of 10 months in custody.