Dungannon man has 21 convictions for attacks on police

editorial image

A Dungannon man who has 21 previous convictions for assaulting police officers has been jailed for 21 months, at Dungannon Crown Court.

The court heard that George Winston Farrell, Ardglena, Dungannon assaulted three more police officers and inflicted grievous bodily harm on a police officer during a drink fuelled violent spree on December 26 2013 in Dungannon.

Court

Court

30 year-old Farrell also spat at an officer, head-butted another officer, and kicked two other officers in the fingers as he was being arrested for violent incidents at Shooters Amusement Centre Dungannon.

And he assaulted Seamus Wylie with a baton at Shooters on the same date.

Farrell admitted charges of wounding with intent to do grievous bodily harm to Seamus Wylie, and assaulting Michael Mulgrew at Shooters Amusement Centre, Dungannon on December 26 2013.

He also admitted that he threatened he would destroy or damage Shooters Amusement Centre.

The defendant had apologized to all the injured parties and was now living with his sister and “had not let her down”

The defendant pleaded guilty to trying to damage a door belonging to Michael Mulgrew.

He admitted causing criminal damage to a Peugeot 205 car belonging to Michael Mulgrew and pleaded guilty to causing criminal damage to a PSNI car as well as resisting arrest, assaulting three police officers and causing grievous bodily harm to a police officer.

Prosecutor Mr Reid told the court that Farrell was one of two very drunk men who entered Shooters Amusement Centre at 9.50 am on December 26.

Farrell made a threat that he would burn out the place.

Mr Wylie had a baton but Farrell took it off him and struck the former and Michael Mulgrew.

Farrell then kicked and caused £500 of damage to Michael Mulgrew’s car.

Seamus Wylie needed sixteen stitches and staples for his head injuries from the assault, the court heard.

When police came to arrest Farrell at 10.30 am he resisted violently. They handcuffed him and put him to ground.

He spat at one officer, head-butted another and kicked a female officer who suffered a severe hand injury.

Another male officer needed surgery to reattach a ligament in his hand on the following August after getting a kick from the defendant.

The court heard the defendant had numerous previous convictions for assault including 21 convictions for assaulting police officers.

His defence counsel Mr Dillon said his client had been sober for the past fifteen months.

He also stated he had given an early plea and was not a risk of serious harm. His client’s behaviour was disgraceful and he accepted that.

The counsel said his client had been drinking since Christmas Day and had little memory of the events.

His client apologized for his actions although it could not be said to be out of character as he had a previous record. But he realized that drink was the background trigger.

The defendant had apologized to all the injured parties and was now living with his sister and “had not let her down”.

Judge Melody McReynolds said Farrell’s violence was “unprovoked, gratuitous and alcohol fuelled”.

A total of six people were assaulted and two of them were seriously injured.

The Judge noted there were no victim impact statements that reflected their “relatively robust temperaments”.

The judge noted that Farrell was likely to reoffend but had not crossed the dangerousness threshold.

He had stayed sober for the past 15 months and was actively addressing his alcohol issues.

The judge said it was a relatively brief episode of “multiple offending”.

Judge McReynolds said the proper sentence for his offences without a plea was five and a half years in custody.

She said she was minded to impose a sentence of four years with the last 27 months on licence for wounding with intent to do grievous bodily harm to Seamus Wylie.

So the actual jail sentence was 21 months.

On the remaining ten charges, the judge imposed a total of 68 months and all were to run concurrently with the 21 months jail sentence.