Moneymore man swallowed pound coin after police arrest

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A Moneymore man, who breached court bail, tried to conceal, and then swallowed a pound coin while police attempted to process his arrest.

Mark McGarvey, 26, from Springhill Road, was sentenced to 6 months in prison when he pleaded guilty to resisting police and causing criminal damage.

A solicitor for the Public Prosecution Service told East Tyrone Magistrates’ Court that the resisting police charge occurred on the evening of May 24 when police went to the home of the defendant as he had breached court bail.

The defendant was barely compliant used profane language and verbally abused police.

When placed under arrested he said “this is an effing joke, this is effing ridiculous” the solicitor added.

On the way to the police station, continued the solicitor, he slid down of the seat in the police car several times.

He also attempted to remove his seatbelt and get out. He was rearrested at 11.15 pm in the car and had to be forcibly restrained, the court heard.

As police processed his arrest the defendant said to one of them “you’re an effing smart ass” and attempted to conceal a pound coin in his fist. He then grabbed the coin from his property and swallowed it, added the solicitor.

The PPS solicitor continued that the second charge of criminal damage occurred in the defendant’s mother’s house on June 24 when the defendant damaged a G4S monitoring tag belonging to G4S Security Services, Belfast.

The court heard that when police arrived at the house the defendant was in the living room. He said he had removed the electronic tag because he had had a seizure. Police at the scene noticed a clean cut through the tag.

Consequently he was arrested for causing criminal damage. At which point the defendant said “dead on”.

A defence solicitor said the defendant pleaded guilty to both charges. He admitted that he had

taken an “idiotic path” and was guarded about an “addiction problem”.

District Judge John Meehan expressed concern about the backlog of offences the defendant had committed when abusing alcohol and drugs.

The defence solicitor said his aggressive and arrogant approach in custody was frustration. His mother had phoned police and reported he was suffering seizures because of the tag.
District Judge John Meehan stated:

“We are living in a victim culture. Tags causing seizures.

What bizarre medical theory is that?”

The defence solicitor added that the defendant accepts that he cut the tag off and that it’s unfortunate that he’s staring down the barrel of a custodial sentence.

Passing sentence of six months in custody the judge said I’m not moved much by his transient effort to address his addictive behaviour through his lengthy criminal career. An offender’s levy of £25 was also imposed.The defendant was granted bail of £200 to appeal.