Man found lying in sleeping bag in garden

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A homeless man was found lying in a sleeping bag and listening to a radio in the back garden of a Portadown house, Craigavon Magistrates Court heard last Friday.

Paul Francis Gallagher (49), Water Street, Rostrevor, admitted disorderly behaviour on November 20 at Orchard Crescent, Portadown. He was sentenced to two months in prison, suspended for 12 months.

The court heard that, at around 2:50am, a resident suspected a male was in her back garden. Police found the defendant in a sleeping bag, listening to a radio. He was homeless and had decided to stay in the garden. Gallagher was asked to leave and became aggressive to police. He swore into an officer’s face and shouted abuse before he was arrested for disorderly behaviour.

The case had been adjourned from a previous court for a pre-sentence report. A solicitor representing Gallagher said he fully accepted the offence. He added that his client was grateful for being arrested because it had given him a chance to turn his life around, explaining that Gallagher had been estranged from his family but had now moved back in with his sister and had managed to secure employment.

Imposing the suspended sentence, the District Judge told Gallagher he should focus on the good work he was doing.