Court hears 'drunk' Ballymena man was walking past and then assaulted paramedic

Court hears 'drunk' Ballymena man was walking past and then assaulted paramedic

A 'DRUNK' Ballymena man was walking past an ambulance worker and then assaulted the paramedic who had been called to assist another person, the town's Magistrates Court heard.

Denico Dunlop (24), of Devenagh Way, had previously been given a Combination Order of Probation and 100 hours of Community Service in
2019 in relation to assault, disorderly behaviour and criminal damage in 2018.

The defendant had failed to complete 35 hours of the Community Service.

The defendant is a serving prisoner in Maghaberry and was not present in court this week, nor was he present by video link because of what a defence solicitor said was a "covid outbreak in his wing of the jail".

Reading the facts from the previous hearing, District Judge Nigel Broderick said it had involved an "assault on a paramedic".

He said there had been a contest when the paramedic had given evidence to the court  and there was CCTV from the ambulance.

The defence lawyer told the court that "late at night" the paramedic "wasn't actually called to deal with him" but the defendant "was walking past whilst drunk".

The defence lawyer said at the time of the offence the defendant had a clear record.

Judge Broderick said it was "still a serious matter".

The defence lawyer said "two traumatic events occurred in his young life" when the defendant's mother was murdered by her partner when Dunlop was only 16 and when the defendant went to live with his grandmother "she too, unfortunately, died last summer and it was Mr Dunlop who found her".

The lawyer said the defendant's "mental and physical health has deteriorated in recent years" and he was unable to complete Community Service.

The court heard the defendant is due to be released from prison on March 25 and the defence solicitor said he wants a "fresh start in life".

Judge Broderick revoked the Combination Order and replaced it with a two months jail sentence, saying: "It involves an assault on a paramedic. The courts will take a very dim view of anyone who assaults a health official".