A Craigavon man is to appeal against a four month prison sentence which he received for a litany of offences including an assault which left the injured party with a black eye.
Addressing the 32-year-old, the district judge stated: “This was a particularly nasty incident. The two individuals in question were complete strangers to you. Nothing about their actions was particularly provocative.”
Patrick Joseph Sheppard, of Pinebank, appeared for sentencing on common assault, assault on police, disorderly behaviour, resisting police, criminal damage and assault occasioning actual bodily harm at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Friday.
Prosecution outlined that on March 21, at 5.45pm, police received a report of an assault outside Santander in Portadown.
One injured party reported that, whilst at the ATM, an intoxicated male had approached his girlfriend, who had been in his parked car, banging his fist against the window and putting her in fear.
Upon being challenged, the intoxicated man punched the male injured party to the face and pushed him, causing him to fall to the ground. He was left with a black eye as a result of this assault.
As he left the area, the assailant once more struck the car windscreen causing a crack.
Police later received reports of a male matching the same description on West Street in Portadown and they located this defendant on Bridge Street.
Upon being approached by officers, Sheppard began shouting and swearing. This continued despite warnings and he resisted as handcuffs were applied.
Whilst being conveyed into custody, the defendant kicked out, hitting the officer who was driving on the head.
He was later interviewed and denied the assaults.
Defence barrister Ciara Ennis stated that the matter had been disputed on a matter of identification but upon viewing CCTV on the date of contest pleas had been offered.
The barrister described this as a “difficult” sentencing exercise with Sheppard being subject to two suspended prison sentences.
“This is an unusual situation,” said Ms Ennis. “This is a young man who was in and out of the courts throughout his teenage year and his young adult years. He was out of trouble for some eight years before these suspended sentences.”
She added that Sheppard had been drinking for 24 hours prior to the incident and had been struggling with his mental health after the breakdown of a relationship.
District Judge Bernie Kelly stated: “Mr Sheppard, this was a particularly nasty incident. The two individuals in question were complete strangers to you. Nothing about their actions was particularly provocative.
“To get yourself into this state is a personal choice, so it cannot be used as an excuse. The difficulty I have is that you had two highly relevant entries on January 10, 2020.”
Sheppard was sentenced to three months in prison, with a further month invoked from the suspended sentences, making a total of four months in custody.
Ms Ennis informed the court of her client’s wish to appeal the sentence, and Sheppard was granted his own bail of £500 in order to do this.
Conditions of his bail included; not to entered licensed premises, not to be in possession of, or to have consumed, alcohol, and not to consume drugs not prescribed to him by a medical practitioner.
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