Female police officer assaulted outside Portadown bar

News letters on newspapers
News letters on newspapers

A 21 year old Portadown man who assaulted a female police officer after being kicked out of a local bar has been released on bail pending sentencing.

Matthew Hobson from Oakgrove, had been celebrating his 21st birthday at a local bar when someone in his company was caught urinating in the smoke room.

Hobson was told to leave but refused and lay down on the floor however he was thrown out. Police had been driving past Mandeville Street and spotted him being ejected from the bar.

The 21-year-old, who admitted being very drunk, was advised by police to move on and as police got back into their vehicle they heard Hobson shouting foul language at door staff and a female police officer.

Craigavon Magistrates Court heard last Friday that Hobson was in an ‘intoxicated state’ and lost his balance and fell. He ignored warnings and continued his disorderly behaviour. The court heard he took hold of the female officer’s right hand and squeezed it very tightly and she asked for it to be released.

He started shouting ‘someone video this’ and started to refuse to support his own weight and kicked out at police. Police had to lift him into the vehicle and there he damaged armoured glass which fell out from its pane.

The bars were closing at this stage on April 5 this year and police were aware of a large crowd piling out from nearby bars and becoming hostile.

Hobson’s solicitor said the defendant is a 21 year old student who lives at home and had decided to go out on April 4 for his 21st birthday.

He said his client suffers from anxiety and depression and this was an unusual event. He said Hobson had gone to a number of bars and consumed more alcohol than he should have.

He said Hobson, who has a clear record, accepts that his behaviour was ‘outrageous’ and his parents are ‘shocked’ at his behaviour.

“He was embarrassed and ashamed of his behaviour,” the solicitor told the court. “Fortunately none of the officers were seriously injured. There was a hand squeezed.”

Hobson has pleaded guilty to four charges, assault on police, resisting police, criminal damage and disorderly behaviour.

Judge Mervyn Bates described the incident as a ‘spectacular fall from grace’ and said it went beyond a fine.

He pointed out the nature of the language used and the crowd issues. He adjourned the case for two weeks for a pre sentence report and released Hobson on bail.