Man struck police sergeant after he was taken from house

The justice system

The justice system

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When police removed a 31-year-old man from a house in Banbridge he later became angry and struck a sergeant on the face.

James Russell, Ballygowan Park, Banbridge, admitted an assault charge when he appeared last Thursday at the local court.

He was given a conditional discharge for two years and ordered to pay £300 compensation to the officer he struck.

The court heard that on February 24 this year police went to a domestic incident at Ballygowan Park.

The householder, the defendant’s mother, asked police to remove him and he was taken to Armagh custody suite.

Russell became angry in a cell and struck a sergeant on the left side of the face and neck.

A barrister representing the defendant said he had been a patient in the Bluestone unit for a number of weeks but was now back with his mother.

He explained on this occasion there had been some sort of falling out but she’s happy that he is back in the house.

The lawyer added that Russell had not worked for some time. He had a fairly significant condition, had frequent counselling and was on heavy medication.

District Judge, Mr Paul Copeland, said that he would take into account the defendant’s health issues.

But he warned Russell that it was intolerable that he lashed out at a sergeant who was just doing his job.

The judge added that if the defendant repeated this sort of offence he was at risk of going to jail and told him his behaviour would be monitored by police over the next two years.