A MAN who poked a 12 foot wooden nail-spiked pole at police is facing prison if he doesn’t give up alcohol and drugs, Dungannon Magistrates Court heard last Friday.
Nathanial Sherry from Lisnahull Park in Dungannon was accused disorderly behaviour, resisting arrest, possession of an offensive weapon and assaulting a police officer.
The charges arise after police discovered Sherry standing in the middle of the Strifehill Road, Cookstown with the pole after coming from a nightclub on May 29 this year.
His solicitor urged the court not to impose a jail sentence as 25-year-old Sherry was terrified of being incarcerated.
Magistrate John Meehan dismissed the fear of prison because Sherry was witness to a murder some years ago. He said the defendant had received numerous chances and still continued to appear before the courts.
Sherry, who admits an alcohol and drug problem, had been spotted waving the pole which had nails protruding from the end of it, in the middle of the road at around 2.20am.
When asked to put it down by police, he said: “Leave me alone, I need this.”
He kept jabbing it towards police then he fired the pole and it landed just feet from the officers and their car.
Police attempted to arrest Sherry who shouted: ‘Feck off you English c..t’.
He headbutted one of the officers and attempted to head butt another.
When he was brought to Cookstown police station he failed to identify himself and continued to be aggressive.
The prosecution lawyer said when Sherry sobered up the next day he told police he had little recollection of what had happened and was remorseful.
His solicitor said Sherry had alcohol and drug abuse problems and that he had voiced his deep sense of shame and embarrassment.
He said Sherry had went to the constable in question to apologise.
The solicitor told the court that when Sherry was found with the pole his shirt was badly ripped and he was bleeding and crying, adding this was a reflection of his mental state.
He said Sherry was taking steps to deal with his issues.
The solicitor said his client’s fear of jail was so great he would rather do something to himself than what ‘those people’ might do to him.
However Magistrate John Meehan said he had displayed ‘persistent violent anti-social behaviour’.
And he said it was an excuse Sherry being a witness to a murder and giving evidence and that this was the reason he was too afraid to go to prison.
Mr Meehan said that while it was clear the defendant had mental health issues and drug and alcohol abuse problems, there was ‘no credible’ indication that he had a desire to change.
He dismissed Sherry’s excuse that he could not recollect the events of that night and said he was not satisfied he was ‘engaging genuinely as opposed to tactically’ referring to the probation service and psychiatrist.
“Other people are not entitled to be beaten up by you,” said the Magistrate adding that it was no excuse ‘just because you had drink taken down your throat’.
The magistrate said he presented as ‘being in deep fear of prison’.
He listed a number of services including counselling, addiction outpatients, Break Through and others that Sherry must attend plus regular alcohol and drug testing.
He must be alcohol and drug free for the next six months and the situation is to be reviewed each month otherwise he will face a jail.
“If you slip up you will be facing a prison sentence,” said Mr Meehan.
He is to reappear before court on September 9.