Dungiven man struck police officer during St Patrick’s Day trouble in Belfast

Holylands disturbances during St Patrick's Day
Holylands disturbances during St Patrick's Day

A man who struck out at a police officer dealing with St Patrick’s Day disorder in Belfast is on the brink of being jailed, a judge warned today.

Conrad Sheerin, 24, launched a punch after being chased from the Holylands area of the city, the city’s Magistrates’ Court heard.

Deferring sentencing for assault on police and resisting arrest, District Judge Fiona Bagnall decided to see if he complies with a previously imposed probation order.

But she stressed: “He’s absolutely on the cusp of custody.”

Judge Bagnall told Sheerin any further misbehaviour will see “the house of cards fall down on you”.

The defendant, of Foreglen Road in Dungiven, Co Derry, was detained in Belfast on March 17 this year.

Prosecutors said police patrolling the Holylands to deal with public disorder surrounding the St Patrick’s Day celebrations spotted him apparently fighting with another man.

It was claimed that Sheerin then broke off and ran towards the Stranmillis Embankment.

He tried to get away from a pursuing policeman by punching out with his arm, the court heard.

They both fell to the ground separately before Sheerin got back up headed for Carmel Street where he was stopped again.

Defence barrister Liam McStay described it as a classic case of someone who is “hard working and hard drinking and urged the court to defer sentencing due to the probation imposed for a separate incident in Magherafelt.

Judge Bagnall deferred the case until the end of March next year, and warned that any further misbehaviour will lead to immediate custody.

“We will have had another St Patrick’s Day and a couple of festivals to test him,” she said.