Dungannon judge takes offence after defendant shouts at him from the dock

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Bail has been revoked for a man who shouted at Dungannon Court’s Resident Magistrate: “You need to hear both sides of the story”, while maintaining a steady gaze to the bench as he was escorted away by guards.

Shaun McDowell from Windmill Heights, Enniskillen, appeared in the dock at Dungannon court on Wednesday.

The 26-year-old was accused of breaking his bail conditions by consuming alcohol and making hoax calls on Tuesday night.

He was originally charged with resisting arrest and assaulting an officer in an incident which is alleged to have taken place on November 5, 2015. The court heard that the latest charges arose when police received two dropped emergency calls from the defendant’s phone. When they visited McDowell’s home address they found him to be intoxicated, and recorded a reading of 183mg in a breathalyser test.

According to the prosecution, McDowell grew increasingly hostile, resisted arrest by pushing against an officer and spat on his leg. The defence solicitor said that McDowell had recently attended his uncle’s funeral and had received news that his young nephew was due to go into hospital for an operation. However, he accepted that he should have coped better with the circumstances.

The solicitor also told the court that McDowell claimed the hoax calls had been made by his partner. Judge John Meehan said McDowell had a past history of hoax calls, and was not a suitable candidate for bail. He urged the defendant’s solicitor to speak to the accused over his behaviour.