Downpatrick Court hears university student spat in PSNI officer's face and then removed jogging bottoms and underwear

Downpatrick Court hears university student spat in PSNI officer's face and then removed jogging bottoms and underwear

A UNIVERSITY student spat in a PSNI officer's face and dropped jogging bottoms and boxer shorts inside a cell van after police saw him waving his arms above his head whilst standing in the middle of the Belfast Road in Saintfield.

Will Byrne (20), of Claddagh Hill, Saintfield, admitted charges including disorderly behavior, assaults on police and causing criminal damage to a police cell van in relation to July 7 this year.

The defendant appeared from his solicitor's office via video link at Downpatrick Magistrates Court on Monday.

A prosecutor said that at 12.30am on July 7  police had a concern for the safety of Byrne who was standing in the middle of the road.

When officers approached the defendant he shouted 'RUC black b*stards' and 'RUC c*nts' and ran off into a nearby wooded area.

When caught he called an officer a "spastic"; tried to bite an officer's hand and continued to be abusive.

He headbutted a police officer on the chest and spat in an officer's face and glasses as well as on body armour and a police radio.

The defendant continued to spit in a police cell van and was 'headbutting' and removed a spit hood.

Whilst the van was parked outside Banbridge Police Station, Byrne continued to spit and pulled down his jogging bottoms and underwear and "placed his bottom against the cell".

Defence lawyer Denis Moloney told the court "the defendant and his family just wish this nightmare to be ended"

He said the his client had been on a night out at the time of the offences and was "totally ashamed" at what he had done.

The court heard the defendant has now been to an alcohol/addiction counselor.

Mr Moloney said that for "£10 a day" the defendant has obtained "a job on a building site where he will not come out with these sort of comments to people or they will deal with him in a totally different way to a courtroom".

He said Byrne knows the comments he made were "unacceptable" and he comes from an "impeccable background with exemplary parents whose heart he has broken".

After District Judge Amanda Brady fined the defendant £450, Mr Moloney told Byrne to address the court and "thank the judge and say you are sorry".

Byrne said he wished to apologise as he had "completely embarrassed myself, my friends, my family".

Then, Mr Moloney thanked the judge and said she was a "gem".