Maghera man smeared excreta across holding cell, court told

Magherafelt Courthouse.
Magherafelt Courthouse.

A man who told a woman he was coming to smash the windows in her house, forcing her to leave with three children, was jailed for a total of 13 months at Magherafelt Magistrates Court.

Gerard Quinn (47), of Largantogher Park, Maghera, admitted charges of harassment, threatening to destroy property, criminal damage and assaulting police on January 13-14 this year.

Jailing him, District Judge Alan White described Quinn’s behaviour as “outrageous and disgusting”.

A prosecuting lawyer told the court that at one of the children had put the mobile phone to the ear of the injured party and defendant’s voice came on telling her he was coming up to smash the windows in her house.

The lawyer said Quinn phoned the following night and again threatened to damage the house.

She said when police spoke to defendant about the incident, he threatened to have officers shot and on being arrested he rubbed mucous from his nose inside a police car.

Continuing, the prosecutor said while be escorted to the cells Quinn attempted to headbutt an officer and then headbutted a constable.

She said the defendant later excreted inside the cell and smeared the excreta across the holding cell.

Defence barrister Liam McStay said Quinn was struggling with an alcohol problem for which he was currently receiving help from various agencies.

Mr McStay pointed out that in the past Quinn had benefitted from assistance from the probation service and suggested that this should continue in some form.

But judge White said the defendant was in breach of a suspended prison sentence and imposed a term totalling 13 months with a £25 offender’s levy.

He commented that what the defendant had put this woman through was nothing short of outrageous and a custodial sentence was appropriate in all the circumstances.