A Lurgan man who ripped a panel off a fence whilst wandering up a street with blood on him, and was then accused of assaulting his mother has been sentenced to six months in custody.
Reuben John Glen, of Colban Crescent, appeared before Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Friday, via video-link from Maghaberry, for sentencing.
The 32-year-old was charged with criminal damage and two counts of common assault.
The court heard that that on August 8, police attended an address in Lurgan in relation to several reports from residents in the street stating that the defendant was wandering up and down the street covered in blood.
He was also observed pulling a fence panel off of a fence.
Police viewed CCTV and observed the defendant doing this and walking away with the panel. The injured party made a statement in relation to this offence.
Whilst at this address, the defendant’s mother entered the property – as she knows the neighbour – and made allegations to police about domestic abuse from her son.
She alleged that he became abusive to her that morning and pushed her.
She also alleged that he assaulted her on August 6 by closing the door on her wrist and had, at some point, said if she ever got police to the house “there would be trouble”.
A short time later, the defendant was located, and it was was noted that he was covered in “dirt and stains”. He was searched and conveyed to Banbridge custody suite.
Glen’s defence solicitor said that his client was “no stranger to the workings of the criminal justice system”.
He said: “His record does him no favours whatsoever. I think this is now over 100 convictions.”
The defence also highlighted that the defendant was in breach of a suspended sentence, which had been imposed by District Judge King in July.
“He had actually served the equivalent of a six-month sentence on remand before the imposition of that suspended sentence for what it’s worth.
“There’s genuine progress since he’s been on remand. I have represented him on and off for the best part of a decade,” he said, adding that the defendant has recently come across as “very lucid, honest and candid”.
“That’s actually an advertisement for Maghaberry,” District Judge Bernie Kelly retorted.
The defence added that the defendant had struggled with addiction to opioids, and said that his client was “fed up with that cycle”.
Judge Kelly responded: “He understands that the only way of breaking that cycle is to come off the drugs, and probably, with his history, he’s probably going to need quite intensive support to do that.”
Judge Kelly imposed a sentence of three months for the criminal damage charge, and one month in respect of each common assault charge, ordering these periods of custody to run concurrently, leaving a total of three months.
The suspended sentence, which had been imposed on July 6, was invoked to a total of three months, to run consecutively with the three months imposed for the charges before the court.
This left a total sentence of six months in custody.
“That gives him maybe a week to a fortnight left in Maghaberry, for him to get in touch with prison welfare and try to put a pathway in place for his release…..so that he’s not literally going straight back out to repeat the sins of the past,” Judge Kelly said.