Policeman’s ear biten during drunken fracas

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A COOKSTOWN man tried to bite the ear of a police officer during a fight outside a nightclub, Dungannon Magistrates Court has heard.

Gareth Samuel Lawson of Grange Road was accused of assault, disorderly behaviour and attempted criminal damage after an incident outside Mint nightclub on January 22.

The 21-year-old had been thrown out of the club following an altercation.

The court heard police saw the accused punch another man outside the club and then four others jumped into the fracas.

Police tried to break up the fight and during the disturbance, Lawson thumped a police officer and bit his ear.

The officer ‘yelped in pain and shouted to the male to stop’, the court heard.

The defendant continued biting and fighting and subsequently tried to break free.

However he was restrained and put in the back of a police vehicle where he kicked at the door.

His solicitor said his client had been the victim of an assault in the nightclub and had been ‘slung out’ by door staff onto the main street.

The solicitor said Lawson accepted he assaulted the officer but denied biting his ear.

He said his client had a lot to drink and this played a factor in the ‘whole sorry incident’.

When asked by Judge Liam McNally the extent of injuries, the PPS lawyer said the officer had to take two days off work.

Judge McNally fined Lawson £250 for assault and ordered him to pay compensation of £100. For the disorderly behaviour offence, he was bound over for the sum of £500 for one month and for attempted criminal damage, he was given a conditional discharge for two years.