Jail for police assault after Dungannon man discovered his girlfriend had left him

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A Dungannon man has been jailed for three months after pleading guilty to assaulting a police officer.

Bernard Cawley, 27, from Killymaddy Hill, appeared by videolink at Dungannon Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday.

The court heard how shortly before 10pm on March 4, police were called by the defendant’s father to his home address with a report that Cawley was kicking the front door and a car.

Police arrested the defendant a short distance away on the Newell Road. They found him in a volatile state, the court was told, and when they tried to arrest him, he called the officers names and struck one of them in the chest. His defence solicitor said that Cawley was a man of limited IQ.

He had recently been released from prison and on finding out that his girlfriend had left him, he began drinking alcohol and went off the rails.

As mitigation the solicitor pointed out that the officer had not sustained any injuries or bruising.

Two charges of criminal damage which had originally been linked to the incident were withdrawn by the prosecution counsel.

However, Judge John Meehan said Cawley had attacked two police officers in the course of their duty.

He branded the defendant a man of violent propensity, likely to appear before court whenever anyone attempts to restrain him. Taking into account his previous criminal record, the judge sentenced him to three months.