Spat blood into police officer’s eye and mouth

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Sentencing in the case of a 19-year-old man who spat blood in the face of a police officer has been deferred for six months to monitor his behaviour.

Simon Hughes, Burn Brae Mews, Banbridge, admitted two assaults on constables, disorderly behaviour at Downshire Place, resisting a constable and criminal damage to a police cell van.

The case had been adjourned from a previous sitting of Banbridge Magistrates Court.

A public prosecutor told last Thursday’s court that on May 12 this year at 10.40pm police received a report of a male having been assaulted.

They found Hughes who was heavily intoxicated with injuries to his face and head.

When police tried to establish what happened to him he used foul language and walked off. An ambulance was called and when it arrived the defendant was abusive to staff and refused assistance.

Hughes was put in the ambulance but when they tried to put on his seat belt he started to struggle. He punched a constable to the left side of his face and threatened to bite an officer’s nose off.

Hughes spat his own blood in the face of an officer going into constable’s left eye and mouth. He was arrested and continued to be abusive before spitting blood in the cell van.

A barrister representing the defendant said Hughes was now living in Strabane with his birth mother. He added that he needed to deal with his anger management, alcohol and drug issues.

District Judge, Mr Paul Copeland, said Hughes had an ‘appalling record’ and these offences were ‘outrageous’.

He added that he had shown little or no remorse and the only thing that was holding him back was that two good people were now with the defendant and the plea from his counsel.

The judge said he was going to take something of a risk by deferring sentence but warned Hughes if he threw it back in their faces he could anticipate going to prison for a significant period of time.