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Man jailed for series of public order offences and damaging three electronic tags

He was swearing and shouting loudly at officers and when warned about his behaviour replied by telling police to 'f*** off'

A Lurgan man has been sentenced to three months in prison for public order offences and damaging three electronic tags whilst on bail.

The 23-year-old’s solicitor outlined that the damaging of tags had been done by the defendant in order for him to visit and speak to his grandmother, due to his mental health issues.

Caolan Magee, of Donnelly Gardens, pleaded guilty to two counts of attempted criminal damage, two counts of disorderly behaviour, resisting police, assault on police and four counts of criminal damage at Craigavon Magistrates’, sitting at Lisburn, via videolink from Maghaberry.

Prosecution outlined that at 12.53am on December 3, of last year, police on patrol had reason to speak to a number of males on Edward Street in Lurgan.

One of the men, who was identified as the defendant, began swearing and shouting loudly at officers, and when warned about his behaviour Magee replied by telling police to “f*** off”.

Officers would stop the defendant once more at 2.40am for shouting and swearing in the street.

Then at 4.20am, Magee was observed throwing cones at the gates of Lurgan police station.

On March 16, of this year, at 3.30am police received a report of a male kicking the glass of a phone box on Church Place, Lurgan.

Officers spoke to the culprit, who was identified as the defendant. He struggled with police as they tried to handcuff him and assaulted one officer in the process.

Whilst being placed into the police vehicle, Magee also kicked out, striking the frame of the door.

The defendant also had damaged electronics tags on three separate occasions this year, specifically June 21, August 1 and August 3o.

Addressing the damage of tags, defence solicitor Chris Logue stated: “Your worship gave him a chance once. He has problems with his mental health and due to an ongoing matter has been separated from his mother.

“On these occasions, he had taken off the tag normally to go and see his granny to have someone to talk to. It is perhaps a blessing he had no address available after the last one as these were building up.”

He continued: “He has three priors for disorderly behaviour, it is no surprise that he has an alcohol problem. In the first case he is seen throwing cones at the police station, that to me is a plea before he is even interviewed.

“The issues with his mental health are a running theme, he was even at Bluestone at one point.”

District Judge Rosie Watters stated: “He is still on remand for the other matter so I do not know if there is any point in me looking at a community sentence.

“It all depends a lot on the way in which the outstanding matter is dealt with.”

Mr Logue commented that if bail were granted in that matter community sentencing would be “opened up”.

However, District Judge Watters said that time had passed with the previous bail breaches with regards to the damage of electronic tags.

Magee was sentenced to three months in prison for the offences.

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