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Man drunk, armed, topless and barefoot in Keady Glen!

A KEADY man went on a rampage around Granemore armed with a knife after losing his job and going on a drinking binge, Armagh Magistrates’ Court has heard.

Darius Keraitis, of St Patrick’s Street in the town, pleaded guilty to criminal damage and to possessing an article – namely a knife – in a public place on December 3 last year.

The court heard police had been tasked to the area after reports of a male armed with a knife in the Granemore area of Keady.

When they arrived, police crews were directed into an area of Keady Glen, where they saw the 22-year-old defendant running away, barefoot and topless.

Prior to police arriving, the court was told defendant had stabbed at the bonnet of a car with the knife, which led to damage costing £492 being caused.

No knife was recovered from Keraitis and, during a search, defendant, who appeared to be highly emotional, said he had thrown it into a nearby river.

The defendant was covered in cuts and was bleeding heavily from his feet. Police also observed a strong smell of alcohol coming from the defendant and he was taken to hospital for treatment.

During police interview, Keraitis admitted that the description matched himself, but said he had no memory of events due to the amount of alcohol he had taken.

A defence solicitor said his client was a Lithuanian national, who had been living in Northern Ireland for four years and whose partner was shortly expecting a baby.

His client had had no real explanation as to his behaviour on that day.

Said defence counsel: “He had just lost the job he had and gone on a four or five-day drinking binge. Once stopped by the police he co-operated fully and gave police no difficulty. This was the first  time in four years he had been unemployed.

“It was losing his job and the impending birth of his baby that made him go drinking. He is absolutely appalled by his behaviour and he would like to apologise.”

District Judge Paul Copeland told Keraitis it had been a “bizarre and somewhat alarming event”.

He said: “My first concern was that you had armed yourself with this knife to threaten and hurt someone, but it is clear your conduct was fuelled by a high level of alcohol intoxication. I have taken into account your plea and the fact you are offering compensation to the owner of the vehicle that had been damaged.”

District Judge Copeland imposed a two-year conditional discharge and warned defendant that his conduct would be supervised during this time.

Defendant was also ordered to pay £492 in compensation to the owner of the damaged car.


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