Confronted police officers with a fork

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When police called at the home of a 29-year-old man he confronted them with a fork and then punched his TV causing it to smash, Banbridge Magistrates Court heard last Thursday.

Gareth Courtney, whose address was given to the court as High Street, Gilford, admitted two assaults on police and resisting a constable on December 22 last year.

For each offence he was sentenced to two months in prison, suspended for 18 months.

A barrister representing Courtney said he was having mental health issues at the time and when police called at his house they found in distress.

He was having a breakdown, causing damage to himself and his property.

He explained that his client had a difficulty at Christmas in having contact with his children and couldn’t cope at that time.

The lawyer said Courtney had served a prison sentence in June and urged the court to leave something hanging over his head.

A public prosecutor said that at 12.45am police went to the defendant’s address and he opened the door to them.

He retreated into the living room and was holding a fork.

He said: “Give me a reason not to go back to Magilligan.”

Courtney dropped the fork and then punched the TV causing it to smash.

He continued to be aggressive and struggled with officers.

The prosecutor said the assault was a technical one.

Courtney had lifted an ornament and police feared they were going to be assaulted.

Courtney’s barrister asked that the matter was dealt with so that he could continue to rebuild his life.

Imposing the suspended sentence Deputy District Judge, Mr Liam McStay, said he had been told Courtney was making efforts to address his difficulties but warned him if he continued to offend he was running the risk of going back into custody.