Young dad-to-be escapes jail after stripping and urinating in cell

Dungannon Courthouse
Dungannon Courthouse

A Cookstown reveller has been spared jail after assaulting three police officers and stripping naked and urinating in a police cell after police intervened in a loud drunken row with his girlfriend.

Stephen Conway, 21, was arrested in the James Street area on July 3 last year after telling police “f**k you” when they came across a “male and female who were intoxicated and rowing loudly” at 1.15am.

Following his outburst, Conway was taken into custody and transported to Dungannon police station.

Reading the facts of the case, the prosecution said he spat at an officer and had to be restrained before arriving in Dungannon at 2.45am.

It was there, that the court heard he stripped naked and urinated against the door, before breaking the glass in his cell door.

Concerned for his welfare, custody staff entered the room, after which the court was told Conway spat at two more officers and tried to bite another.

When moved to another cell he then blocked the toilet and spilled fluids over the floor. The total cost of repairs to the police cells was estimated at just under £620 by the PPS.

Speaking for his client, defence counsel said Conway - who lives in Newry, Co Down - had submitted a letter from his GP outlining a history of mental health issues.

On examination of that letter, Judge Meehan revealed that the defendant had previously been referred for addictions on several occasions, but added that his “moods are connected to that indulgence”.

Pleading for any prison term to be suspended, the defence explained that Conway’s partner was pregnant and that he intends “to get things back on an even keel”.

On the night in question he also said “he was feeling low”.

Addressing Conway at East Tyrone Magistrates Court on Wednesday, January 4, District Judge John Meehan told him “it’s a lot to do with drugs and alcohol” before hitting out at the fact that he “adamantly refused to show any remorse”.

“Enough already Mr Conway, enough already of your reference to your issues,” Judge Meehan added.

“Twenty five per cent of inmates in prison have mental health issues... there’s no half way option between prison and rehab.

“You have spurned all options and continued with drink and drugs.”

Referencing the young man’s “arrogance”, Meehan went on to tell him that his job was to protect the public and that he was “a danger” before adding: “If you tank yourself up on drink and drugs... if you do it ever again in the future and it will be a prison sentence.”

Conway, who had his head down in the dock, was handed a three month prison sentence, which he went on to suspend for two years.