Damaged cars after drink and drugs binge

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At the end of a drink and drugs binge which lasted a number of days a 25-year-old man damaged three cars and assaulted police officers, Craigavon Magistrates Court heard last Wednesday.

He was Anthony Brendan Byrne, Enniskeen, Craigavon, and he was jailed for a total of eight months.

At a previous court he pleaded guilty to criminal damage to three cars, two assaults on police, interference with vehicles, disorderly behaviour and resisting police on August 14 last year.

For each offence he was sentenced to four months in custody while four months of a suspended sentence was also put into operation to run consecutively making a total of eight months.

Also at the previous court Laura McCartan (22), Enniskeen, Craigavon, admitted criminal damage to a car and interference with a vehicle on the same date.

Last Wednesday she was put on probation for 18 months.

The court heard that on August 14 last year at 11.15am received reports of damage to a car at Woodville Street in Lurgan. There were a number of dents below the driver’s window and spots of blood on the ground.

CCTV showed Byrne punching the driver’s window before sitting on the roof and kicking his heels towards the same window.

They got inside another vehicle and caused damage to the dashboard. There was also a report of another vehicle in Francis Street having its wing mirror damaged.

When police tried to caution Byrne he shouted throughout and told an officer if he arrested him he would rip his head off. The defendant continued to be aggressive and in the police vehicle he spat at an officer and twice head-butted the rear window. In custody he continued to be aggressive.

Swabs taken from Byrne confirmed through DNA testing that the blood at the scene belonged to him.

The cost of the damage to the first vehicle was £1,213.50 while the damage to the other two vehicles was around £100 each.

A barrister representing Byrne said his recollection of what happened was absolutely zero. He explained that he had been on a drink and drugs binge for a number of days. He did not know the owners of the cars but may have got some sort of perverse thrill out of damaging the cars.

A barrister for McCartan said there was nothing further in the pipeline as far as she was concerned. She added that her client had a drugs and alcohol problem and significant mental health issues.