Man attempted to kick officer in police van

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A south Derry bakery worker who attempted to kick a police officer while he was being conveyed to Dungannon custody suite, was given a two-month jail sentence, suspended for two years, at Magherafelt Magistrates Court.

Fifty-year-old Robin Dawson Steele from Drummuck Road, Maghera, admitted assaulting the officer in the rear of a cell van on April 9 this year.

District Judge Oonagh Mullan told Steele that it was very unfortunate he was back before the court for an assault on police.

She said he had issues in terms of his behaviour which needed to be addressed, and she was glad he was receiving support from his church.

But Ms Mullan warned that if he repeatedly appeared before the court he could end up in custody.

Prosecuting counsel said police attended an address in Maghera and the defendant appeared in a heavily intoxicated state, staggering and shouting.

He was arrested and put in a cell van where he attempted to kick one of the officers before banging his head against the side of the van. Defence solicitor Patrick McGuckin described it as a “technical assault”, in which the police officer states defendant had tensed up his legs and aimed them at him.

Mr McGuckin said Steele was a hardworking man who was “making good progress” despite set backs in his life which had caused him to turn to alcohol.

“It is only in recent years that these things have manifested themselves, “ he said, pleading with the court for leniency in light of defendant’s efforts to change his life for the better.