Defendant made threat to strangle member of staff



A resident of Novara House in Portadown was ordered to pay £200 compensation to a member of staff he threatened to strangle when he appeared last Wednesday at Craigavon Magistrates Court.

Fifty-year-old Paul Powell, Novara House, Thomas Street, admitted assaulting a female on May 4 this year.

As well as the compensation he was sentenced to four months in prison, suspended for two years.

The court heard that police went to the home, which caters for people with mental health issues, after a report of a resident making threats to a staff member. She claimed she had been talking to Powell about money and he said he was going to strangle her. She felt afraid and called police.

The defendant, who smelled of intoxicating liquor, said he did not mean any harm to anyone. When he was interviewed by police at a later date he agreed he may have said these things but denied shaking his fist in the injured party’s face. He admitted he was drunk.

His solicitor said he had apologised to the injured party for any distress caused to her.

A probation report indicated Powell was not suitable for a community based disposal.

District Judge, Mr Mervyn Bates, said staff were entitled to be treated with respect and the offence had crossed the custody threshold.




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