Defendant showed he could change

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During the period of a deferred sentence a Lurgan man who showed he could change his behaviour avoided an immediate custodial sentence last Wednesday at Craigavon Magistrates Court.

John Patrick McComb (35), Church Walk, Lurgan, was sentenced to three months in prison, suspended for 12 months, for disorderly behaviour.

The court heard that on January 28 last year at 3.20pm police were dealing with a member of the public in William Street, Lurgan.

The defendant approached and started shouting and swearing. There were members of the public in the area and a number of young schoolchildren.

McComb challenged police to a fight and then ran away from the area. Police spoke to him about 7pm and he swore again in reply to the caution.

District Judge, Mr Mervyn Bates, said there were good points in the update probation report and McComb had done all three things expected of him in the deferment period.

A solicitor for the defendant said he had an appalling criminal record but it appeared when he was left to his own devices he could make a fist of what was required.

He added that McComb did seem like a different person and seemed to have sorted himself out.

Regarding the offence the solicitor said the defendant saw his friend in trouble and got involved.

Judge Bates said it was very rare when a deferred sentence gets such a positive reply where the defendant had ticked all three boxes.

He added that he had warned McComb it would be immediate custody if he breached any of the conditions but he had shown he could change his behaviour.