Cookstown man threatened to shoot nurses who were helping him and tried to choke police officer

Man threatened to shoot nurses who were helping him
Man threatened to shoot nurses who were helping him

A court has heard that a Cookstown man hit a woman, attempted to choke a police officer, and then threatened to shoot nurses as they attempted to X-ray him.

The defendant - Daniel Barry McGonnell, 27, from Molesworth Street - took umbrage to the content of the PPS file, shouting “F**k you and your court, you c**ts” towards the front of the courtroom.

He was quickly taken from the dock to the cells by prison officers.

The court had heard how, around 8pm on October 27, police received a 999 call from a distressed woman who claimed to have been punched in the face. She had been forced to flag down a driver in order to contact police.

The attending constables found McGonnell in an “extremely volatile” and aggressive state in Union Place in the town.

One officer attempted to restrain McGonnell, but the defendant grabbed him by the throat and put him in a choke hold. The constable received blows to the head from McGonnell while a female officer was kicked in the chest and legs several times.

CS spray was deployed to no avail and the constable had to punch the defendant several times in order to get him to release his grip around his neck.

He even had to make use of the emergency button.

McGonnell was taken to hospital where he refused to sit in the correct position to be X-rayed and was reported to have commented “I’ll get an AK and riddle you” to nursing staff before calling them “British c**ts”.

It was at this point in proceedings on Wednesday that the defendant had to be removed from the dock when he launched into an abusive invective towards the PPS.

He returned some time later after talking to his solicitor in the cells and apologised for his outburst.

“He has had a difficult upbringing,” the solicitor said of McGonnell. “At age 15 he began consuming alcohol and he has paid the price of that abuse. The immediate underlying issue is alcohol.

“He says that he is of no racist or sectarian persuasion and actually has an English mother,” he concluded.

Handing down a total prison sentence of nine months, District Judge John Meehan called it an “unedifying saga”.

“The submissions don’t disclose the full measure of your defiance or the efforts required to protect the public from you.

“You were released on licenced conditions ... and you challenged that. You present with an extremely distorted view towards women... You deserve full consequences of your behaviour.”