Forced a police officer into using his baton

editorial image

Even though he had been warned a 43-year-old man tried to strike a police officer who then had to use his baton.

Robert George Murray, Holm Terrace, Dromore, pleaded guilty to unlawful assault of a constable on June 17 this year last Thursday at Banbridge Magistrates Court.

He was sentenced to four months in prison, suspended for 18 months.

A charge of common assault on a female on the same date was withdrawn as was a charge of resisting a constable on July 15.

The court heard that on June 17 police were dealing with a domestic incident and while speaking to the complainant Murray was trying to interfere.

He began balling his fists and moving from side to side. Police warned him if he became violent force would be used.

He tried to strike an officer who blocked him and Murray had to be restrained.

A solicitor representing the defendant said police were tasked to what initially was a domestic incident at Murray’s address where he lived with his long term partner.

He added that this relationship now seemed to be over and he was living at a bail address.

The solicitor explained that Murray had long standing mental health difficulties.

He said that on occasions he had a dip and found himself in trouble with the police. Alcohol tended to acerbate the problem.

The solicitor added that Murray did stay out of trouble for long periods of time.

He said his client did not connect with the officer and had apologised to him.

Deputy District Judge Philip Mateer said that when police arrived it appeared that something was going on and acted in accordance with their duty.

He added that the last thing they needed was for one of the parties to turn on them but he would take into account the plea of guilty, that Murray was apologetic and he had not been before a court for around five years.

The judge told the defendant the police should be able to do their job without fear of being assaulted and on this occasion an officer had to ‘strike you with his baton’.