Cookstown man who bit officer during drug raid escapes jail

Dungannon Courthouse TT0509-JS112
Dungannon Courthouse TT0509-JS112

A Cookstown man who bit a police officer on the thumb during a drugs raid at his home has been spared an immediate custodial sentence.

Steven Thomas Wilson, 33, of Molesworth Street in the town was charged with possession of Class B controlled drug, assault on police, no driving licence and using a motor vehicle without insurance.

Dungannon Magistrates Court heard how police conducted a search at the home of the defendant on May 30, 2012. When police arrived they found Mr Wilson sitting on the sofa and he appeared to hide something in his lap. When officers went to search Mr Wilson’s person he appeared to put the item in his mouth.

Officers tried to take the item from his mouth and in the process Mr Wilson bit down on one of the officers thumb. He told police, “I have swallowed it you d***heads.”

Police later found a small bag of herbal cannabis. He denied assaulting the officer saying his “teeth might have brushed” the officer’s thumb.

The court also heard of a separate incident on April 17 last year when police attended a road traffic collision on East Circular Road, Cookstown. Police discovered the defendant lying in the ditch near a motorbike. Mr Wilson sustained significant injuries from the accident. When police later spoke to him, he told them he had taken the bike for a test drive and that a large gust of wind had blown him off the bike. He also told officers he had applied for a provisional licence but it hadn’t arrived yet. Checks with the DVA revealed they had received no such appli cation from the defendant.

Referencing a pre-sentence report, Mr Wilson’s solicitor told the court his client has battled drug addiction from he was at school but is now completely drug free and wants to turn his life around. District Judge John Meehan said Mr Wilson had a “very extensive criminal career” counting 118 previous offences. He sentenced him to 4 months in prison suspended for 2 years for the assault on police, 3 months suspended for 2 years for no insurance to run consecutive. He was also fined a total of £230 and disqualified from driving for 5 years.