Assault on police after sat nav theft attempt

A Rathfriland man who attempted to steal a sat nav from a car was later apprehended by police, before head-butting one of the officers.

Appearing at last week’s local court for sentencing was Matthew Mitchell (19) from Knock Terrace.

He faced a total of four charges; attempted theft from a vehicle, disorderly behaviour, resisting police and assault on police.

He was sentenced to a combination order of 100 hours community service as well as being placed on probation for 18 months. He was fined £100 for disorderly behaviour and ordered to pay the police officer compensation of £250.

The court heard how on 18 January at 12.15pm police received a report of a victim in Rathfriland hearing a loud bang outside his house.

He looked outside and saw two males in dark clothes beside his car. They made off but the owner noted that the glove compartment had been rifled through and the sat nav removed and left on the passenger seat.

The victim said he saw Mitchell at the front of his property and when he looked at him, Mitchell gave him the fingers.

When police caught up with Mitchell he swore at police and ran off. He hid in the hedge of the Manor Nursing Home and when officers attempted to handcuff him he head-butted one of them.

When arrested he said, “What theft, I didn’t steal no cd player.”

On the way to Banbridge Police Station he kept demanding that the window be put down to allow him to spit. He made very abusive remarks and at the station during further questioning,

A solicitor said the head-butt was not as sinister as it may appear. He stressed that the officer was below Mitchell and when he was coming up their heads connected.

He said his client was trying to put his life in order and he had no further court matters pending.

Deputy District Judge Mr O’Hare said it was clear from the papers and evidence before the court, Mitchell has consumed an “enormous amount of alcohol.”

“This in no way excuses your behaviour when you went on a bender.

Judge O’Hare said Mitchell’s behaviour towards the police officer was “completely inappropriate.”

“I have read the police officer’s report and I am satisfied it was a head-butt.”

As part of his Probation sentence, Mitchell was ordered to take part in drug and alcohol awareness treatment.

Mitchell is set to appeal his conviction and was released on appeal bail of £300.