Assaulted same officer twice

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A Lurgan man who assaulted the same police officer on two different occasions was given probation and suspended prison sentences last Wednesday at Craigavon Magistrates Court.

He was 35-year-old Kenneth Patrick Fortune, Oakfield Fold, Lurgan, and he admitted two series of offences.

For disorderly behaviour and assaulting a constable on September 7 last year he was put on probation for 18 months with the requirement he abides by any conditions which require an alcohol or drugs treatment programme. He was also ordered to pay £200 compensation to the officer he assaulted.

Fortune was sentenced to three months in prison for criminal damage to windows on October 2 last year, two months for disorderly behaviour, three months for assaulting a police officer and two months for attempted criminal damage to a police vehicle. All the prison terms are to run concurrently and were suspended for two years. Fortune was ordered to pay £62.40 for the damage to the windows.

The court heard that on September 7 the defendant was arrested under the mental health legislation. He was in Downshire Avenue and shouted: “I want to f—king kill myself.”

He was under the influence of drink and drugs and was taken to Craigavon Area Hospital and put in a side room. Fortune began acting aggressively towards police and spat at an officer, landing on his face, hair and ear.

On October 2 around 2pm police were called to Dingwell Park where the injured party claimed Fortune had smashed her windows He was aggressive towards police and when arrested for disorderly behaviour he struggled with police and began shouting and swearing. He assaulted the same officer who had been involved in the first incident. Fortune kicked at the doors of the police car with both feet and had to be placed in leg restraints. He made explicit threats to officers and these threats involved the IRA.

The case had been adjourned from a previous court so that a pre-sentence report could be obtained and a psychiatric report was handed in as well. A barrister representing Fortune said he had issues with the consumption of alcohol and other issues which were linked to what happened early in his childhood. He added probation had not been offered to his client who was extremely concerned about the possibility of custody.

District Judge, Mr Mervyn Bates, said the report indicated there would not be a significant improvement in Fortune until he addressed his problem.