Man who accused police of ‘picking on prods’ convicted of disorderly behaviour

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A DUNGANNON man who was aggressive to police and told them they were ‘picking on prods’ has been given a suspended prison sentence.

Wesley Alexander Hunniford, 22, of Derryscollop Road, Dungannon was charged with disorderly behaviour relating on an incident on Molesworth Road, Cookstown on 21st July.

A court was told that police were on patrol on Molesworth Road at around 2am on the date in question when they noticed a group of people standing outside the police station drinking.

Police told the group whom the defendant was a part of to stop drinking on the streets, Mr Hunniford was told by police to put the drink away and he put the can behind his back. A court was told of how Mr Hunniford became increasingly aggressive towards police and told them they were ‘picking on prods’ and shouted ‘Fenian b*****ds’.

It was also heard that Mr Hunniford at one time had to be restrained by other members of his group as he had fists clenched at police. Mr Hunniford continued to be aggressive towards police and they drew their batons, to which Hunniford shouted “I’ll get f*****g disorderly on you.”

He continued to shout at police and when police went to restrain him he ran off, and was eventually restrained by police some 250 metres away. He was cautioned for the offences to which he replied “I want to talk to a solicitor” and told police they were ‘afraid of Sinn Fein.’

A defence solicitor for Mr Hunniford said his client is hugely embarrassed by the language he used and the incident itself, he said his client was in no way sectarian and his recollection of events was very poor.

District Judge John Meehan outlined to the court from a probation report that Mr Hunniford had been drinking from the age of 13 and had come to police attention for drink related incidents from the age of 16.

Judge Meehan also told Hunniford that denying he had any ongoing difficulties with alcohol was ‘delusional’ and that he was ‘big enough and old enough to deal with the consequences of his drinking’. Hunniford was given a one month prison sentence suspended for two years.