Police were called to deal with a young man who was behaving aggressively towards members of the public and council staff in the Christmas marquee in Magherafelt town centre, the local Magistrates Court was told.
Before the court was 22-year-old Joseph Patrick Hurley, of Beechland Drive, Magherafelt, who was charged with disorderly behaviour at Market Street on the night of November 28 last year.
District Judge Alan White deferred sentencing until November 23 to enable Hurley to work with the Probation authorities and participate in the ‘Thinking Skills Programme’ and to demonstrate he can keep out of trouble.
Mr White warned the defendant that if he did not cooperate with Probation and keep all his appointments he could expect to go into custody.
A PPS lawyer said at 9.20pm police on high visibility duties in the Market Square area of Magherafelt were alerted about Hurley, who was refusing to leave a temporary bar in the marquee.
The barrister claimed when police entered the marquee they observed Hurley walk up and place his forehead on the forehead of a staff member.
She said police ascertained the identity of the defendant who had his fists clinched and was being verbally abusive in the presence of members of the public, including young children.
The lawyer said Hurley told police that “he was f**king lucky I did not get the face into him.” He then told a police officer that he would “put my f**king face into you”. He was subsequently arrested and cautioned and made no reply.
Defence solicitor John Fahy said there were a number of aggravating factors, including the fact that Hurley was subject to a suspended prison sentence and his lack of engagement with other agencies.
Mr Fahy referred to the probation report in which Hurley remarked that this was not him “outside of drink.”
He said defendant was searching for a job and believes that he can get employment with a local company.
Mr Fahy stressed that Hurley did express “great remorse” at what had happened and pleaded with the court to deal with the matter in a way which would make the defendant realise this behaviour cannot go on.
Deferring sentencing until November 23, Mr White said the Probation authorities have been “more than patient” with Hurley. However, he said if he got another report like the one before him he would send him into custody.