A man who kicked and punched a police car after consuming a “large quantity of vodka'” has been handed a suspended sentence.
The 31-year-old’s solicitor told court: “He is a man who realised he had a drink problem, which was evident before this offending. He took the initiative, he took part in the 12 week course at Cuan Mhuire.”
Alan Higgins, of Creenacorrag, Warrenpoint, pleaded guilty to common assault, two counts of attempted criminal damage, two counts of disorderly behaviour, assault on police, resisting police and possession of Class B at Newry Magistrates’ on Wednesday, appearing via videolink from his solicitor’s office.
Prosecution outlined that on May 3, at 6.10pm, police were contacted by staff at Vivo Extra, on Upper Dromore Road, Warrenpoint, regarding an intoxicated male who refused to leave the store.
Officers arrived and approached the male, identified as the defendant, and it was observed by police that he appeared intoxicated.
Higgins began shouting words to the effect of “who does he think he is?”, and this continued despite him being warned on several occasions.
Then on May 19, at 6pm, police were on patrol of Summer Hill, Warrenpoint, when they observed a male in the middle of the road.
Officers had to make an emergency stop in order to avoid colliding with the male, who then proceeded to kick and punch the police vehicle.
He was challenged by the officers and he reacted by shouting and swearing at them. As police attempted to detain the man, he pushed and shoved them.
Police were approached by a distressed member of the public. She stated that the same male, who was identified as the defendant, had also punched her car window as she attempted to park.
She claimed that Higgins had hurled abuse at her and had been crossing the road to “square up to her” as police arrived.
When interviewed, the defendant stated he had consumed a large amount of vodka and could not remember the incident, but apologised for his actions which he accepted.
Defence solicitor Gerard Trainor stated: “He is a man who realised he had a drink problem, which was evident before this offending.
“He took the initiative, he took part in the 12 week course at Cuan Mhuire. I ask that he is given credit for his engagement. He is deeply ashamed and has little recollection of being on that road.”
District Judge Eamonn King sentenced Higgins to four months in prison suspended for 12 months and ordered that he pay a fine of £240, along with an offender’s levy of £30.