Judge ‘blushed’ at ‘torrent of abuse’ directed at police in Cookstown


A man who admitted being disorderly in the middle of Cookstown has been bound over to keep the peace for two years.

East Tyrone Magistrate’s Court heard how police had to intervene in an argument in James Street in the early hours of July 26.

Two males were arguing and police were told about several complaints.

The defendant, Corey O’Neill, 23, from University Street in Belfast, refused to tell police what had occurred and delivered a torrent of abuse towards a police officer at the scene.

The constables consulted CCTV footage from nearby and were able to discern a number of females purchasing food from a chip van. They then sat down on the street to eat.

O’Neill was then reported to have put his feet up behind the head of one of the females as well as saying something which caused an argument to ensue.

Mr Coilin Donnelly, defending, told the court that his client has a “formidable record” and had been a “repeat offender of this nature” in his youth.

Mr Donnelly stated that his client had “reacted very poorly” at being approached by police and said that his bad language was “borne out of frustration and intoxication”.

“This was a blip,” Mr Donnelly claimed, saying that his client’s lifestyle had changed since gaining employment.

“This was a quite spectacular mouthful that you threw at her,” Deputy District Judge Chris Holmes told the defendant without elaborating on the words spoken during the incident.

“You know what you said to that police officer and it is absolutely unacceptable,” he told the court.

“I first blushed when I read (your words to the constable). This was not a blip ... this is a return to a lifestyle you were extremely good at,” he added and handed down a binding over order for two years which, if in default, will see him serve seven days in prison.

He further imposed a compensation order of £100 in the favour of the police officer who he had insulted during the altercation.