Caused gas leak while fuelled with whiskey

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Fuelled by a bottle of whiskey a 35-year-old man ripped out a gas meter, threw a door at a policeman and kicked an officer on the face, Banbridge Magistrates Court heard last Thursday.

James Kordek, Primrose Gardens, Banbridge, admitted a series of offences which happened on November 15 last year.

They included three assaults on police officers, disorderly behaviour and criminal damage to two windows, a police vehicle and a gas mains belonging to Firmus Energy.

The court heard that at 9.20pm police were called to an address at Hillhead Gardens in Banbridge after a report of a domestic incident.

There were a number of neighbours in the street and there was crashing and banging coming from inside the property.

The gas installation had been damaged and there was gas coming from the ground.

Inside the house Kordek was throwing furniture down the stairs and threw an internal door at a police officer.

Kordek was the only person in the property and there was extensive damage to the fixtures and fittings.

The defendant was highly intoxicated and he kept referring to a young lady in a foul mouthed diatribe. He kicked out and hit a constable on the face with his foot although there was no injury.

When he was put in the police car he spat on the front seat and it had to be deep cleaned.

The Housing Executive came out and it was discovered the gas meter had been ripped out.

When interviewed Kordek said he normally took beer but that night he had drunk a bottle of whiskey. When shown body camera footage of what happened he was appalled.

The cost was the repair to the gas main was estimated at £1,369.11 while the cost of the windows and doors was £651.61 and to clean the police car cost £66.24.

A barrister representing the defendant said his client no longer lived at the property but his partner still lives at the address.

He suggested there might be some dispute over the true figures for the damage which may not be as stated. The barrister added that Kordek was very apologetic the next morning.

District Judge, Mr Paul Copeland, said there was an issue of endangerment to other residents in the area due to the damage to the gas meter.

He added that he would take into account the defendant’s early plea and expression of remorse.

Judge Copeland adjourned the case until March 8 to obtain a pre-sentence report.

And he wanted settled to the satisfaction of all the terms as far as the costs were concerned.