Judge says man’s problem is having too much drink on board

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A south Derry man, said by his lawyer to have an “extremely poor” record, appeared at Magherafelt Magistrates Court on public order charges.

Twenty-six-year-old Kevin John Bell from Glengomna Road, Draperstown, had sentencing deferred for six months on a charge of disorderly behaviour arising out of an incident at Garden Street, Magherafelt, on March 4.

Bell was fined £150 on a charge of indecent behaviour at Queen Street, Magherafelt, on December 2 last year.

The case had been adjourned from an earlier court for a pre-sentence report.

District Judge Oonagh Mullan remarked that she was taking into consideration the fact that defendant was holding down a job.

Ms Mullan said that alcohol was an issue for Bell and expressed the hope that engagement with Probation would help him. She told him it appeared his behaviour stemmed from “having too much drink on board”.

An earlier court heard that on March 4 at 1am, police were tasked to a disturbance at Garden Street, and observed Bell in an intoxicated state shouting and swearing.

A prosecuting lawyer said Bell used abusive language towards police and continued shouting despite being warned, and was arrested for disorderly behaviour.

Continuing, counsel said at 10pm on December 2 last year police on high visibility patrol in Magherafelt observed the defendant urinating against the shutter of a shop at Queen Street.

The defence lawyer said despite alcohol misuse and his record the defendant held down employment working, on occasions, six days a week.

The lawyer said Bell had a difficult family background which had left him with a very bad attitude towards authorities.

He pleaded with the court to take into account the defendant’s early plea to both charges.

Counsel added that Bell was “making progress” and asked the court to defer sentencing to give him an opportunity to show he can stay out of trouble.

Imposing the sentence, Judge Mullan warned Bell that if offended before February 6 he would be brought back to court and could end up in custody.

She also imposed a £15 offender’s levy.