Coalisland man bit police officer on the arm in ‘barbaric’ attack

PSNI officer
PSNI officer

A Coalisland man who bit a police officer on the forearm while on bail has been jailed for seven months.

Appearing before East Tyrone Magistrate’s Court to be sentenced for assault occasioning actual bodily harm and resisting police was John Paul Morrow, 23, from Ardnaskea Drive.

Police reported how, in the early hours of December 13, they received a call from G4S who said that Morrow was not at his bail address.

Seven hours later, the located the defendant at his home. He was drunk in contravention of his bail terms.

A struggle ensued as police tried to handcuff Morrow who kicked out at the constables.

He then bit down on one officer’s forearm “so hard that he could not release his arm”. The skin was broken and bruised.

The constables finally brought the defendant under control and got him into the police vehicle.

“To bite someone with such force is a disgrace,” Mr Blaine Nugent, defending, told the court. “Mr Morrow is deeply regretful and extends his apologies to the officer.”

Mr Nugent described how his client had recently secured employment and could therefore recompense the injured party if the court so ordered.

He also disclosed that Morrow had become a father for the first time to a daughter two months previously and that this new responsibility left him “anxious” that he would not be able to provide support to his family.

“There is no doubt that only a custodial sentence will do,” said District Judge John Meehan.

“You were on bail on serious matters ... police attended your address and what they got was a barbarically bad reception.”

He handed down a five month sentence before activating a two month suspended sentence from October 2014 which he ordered run consecutively to the first. An offender’s levy of £25 was also imposed.

Judge Meehan fixed bail for a appeal at £200.