Man with fork arrested after threatening Dungannon hostel residents

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A Dungannon man who was causing a disturbance at a hostel in the town told a police officer called to the incident that he would “get an IRA man to shoot the b***oc*s off you”, the local Magistrates Court has been told.

James O’Reilly, 40, from Castle Hill, pleaded guilty by videolink from Maghaberry Prison to a string of public order offences, including threatening to kill police officers, common assault, resisting police and criminal damage.

A prosecutor explained police were called to the De Paul Hostel on the evening of April 4 following a report that O’Reilly, who was intoxicated, was causing annoyance to other residents by knocking on their doors.

When the officers arrived, O’Reilly was standing outside the door of a female resident. Despite being told to go away, O’Reilly continued to pester the female resident to let him in, the court heard.

When warned about his behaviour by the officers, O’Reilly lifted one arm and said: “I’m going to punch the head off you!” to the police man.

O’Reilly was subsequently arrested and escorted from the hostel, but continued to shout foul and abusive language to the officers, telling one: “I’m going to blow your head off” and “Next time I see you I’ll stick a knife in you!”.

While in the police custody suite, O’Reilly continued to threaten the officers and urinated in the cell.

A second incident, this time at the Castle Hill housing complex on June 21, was also relayed to the court.

On this occasion, police were told O’Reilly had entered a neighbouring flat with a fork and had tried to stab residents. When he was arrested, O’Reilly denied intending to cause any distress.

O’Reilly’s lawyer said his client had “gone off the rails” after splitting with his long-term partner and apologised for his “despicable behaviour”. O’Reilly was sentenced to six months in prison along with fines.