Pre-sentence reports have been ordered for a Coalisland man who has been found guilty of disorderly behaviour and obstructing police.
Frances Devine, 23, appeared at Dungannon Magistrate’s Court on Friday.
The court heard how he was arrested on November 28, after giving an offensive gesture to a passing police patrol car and mouthing the word ‘bastards’. At the time the street was full of pedestrians, according to the prosecution.
When police approached the defendant he was found to be heavily intoxicated and carrying a bottle of Buckfast.
Devine gave police a false name and address and was warned to moderate his behaviour, however, he persisted and was brought to the custody suite.
A further charge of disorderly behaviour was applied to the defendant, after the court heard how on January 23, police were called to the MacDonald’s Restaurant at the Oak’s Centre, Dungannon, after a call from a motorist who claimed Devine had thrown a bottle at his car.
As the victim was identifying him, Devine was heard to shout ‘I’ll rape your ma”.
His defence solicitor referred to an earlier pre-sentence report which highlighted the fact that Devine had an alcohol problem, an unstructured life, and a problematic relationship with his mother.
However, since gaining employment, Devine had enjoyed a relatively stable period in his life, he said.
“This is clearly a young man behaving under the influence of alcohol, and he hopes that his job will give structure to his life and deter him from drinking.”
However, it emerged that Devine had not cooperated with probation.
District Judge John Meehan asked the solicitor: “Why does he stand up probation if he wishes to avoid a custodial sentence?”
The judge then warned him that having a job was not ‘an exit strategy’ from custodial punishment.
He also pointed out that many people with jobs go out binge drinking at the weekends and end up before the courts.
Judge Meehan said that Devine had a very bad record, predominantly in relation to violence towards his mother and the police.
“I do fear that with having a job he felt he didn’t have to go through with probation”, he said.
The judge asked the probation officer would she be prepared to extend another opportunity to Devine, and the officer agreed.