Was angry at police actions


A Gilford man who wanted to complain about his treatment by police has been told it was “ a bit rich coming from someone with no less than six previous convictions” including three for assaulting police.

The comment was made by District Judge Mr Paul Copeland at last week’s court when Stephen Raymond Curran (24) from Woodlands pleaded guilty to two counts of disorderly behaviour.

He was sentenced to four months in prison, suspended for two years and fined a total of £500.

A PPS prosecutor told the court how on 28 December last year police were on duty at the Belmont Hotel when they observed Curran acting aggressively towards door staff. Officers approached and due to his behaviour he had to be restrained on the ground.

He told officers he wanted to make a complaint about police and was told he could do so at the police station.

Later that evening he appeared at the Enquiry Office and continued to shout and swear meaning he had to be removed from the office.

Barrister Mr Justin Byrne said his client thought police had been heavy handed with him. “He had just witnessed a female friend being grabbed by the throat by door staff. He hurt his ankle and as a result went to the police station. He hadn’t been arrested at this stage and should have went home.”

He said there had been a significant gap in his client’s record, and he looked after his mother who is unwell.

“He is now in part time employment in a factory and still cares for his mother. He does not have a clean record but hasn’t taken a drink since that night.”

District Judge Mr Copeland said, “You have a significant record including three convictions for assaulting police officers. The police have a duty to protect the public and intervene when they see anti-social behaviour. It is pointless you whinging about it.”

He said behaviour like Curran’s was “an increasingly depressing spectacle of street life in Banbridge at weekends.”

Curran was given 12 weeks to pay the fines and warned that if they aren’t paid on time he could go to prison for 14 days.