Drunken attack on woman’s garden statue

Craigavon Courthouse. INPT21-239.
Craigavon Courthouse. INPT21-239.

A drunken attack on a garden statue and gate was a ‘threatening and frightening experience’ for a young lady living in the house, a Craigavon court sitting was told.

Jonathon Barton, whose address was given as Hill Street, Lurgan, was given suspended prison sentences last Wednesday at Craigavon Magistrates Court.

For criminal damage to a cast iron statue on January 4 last year he was sentenced to six months in custody.

A concurrent four months term was imposed for possession of an offensive weapon, an iron bar.

Both sentences were suspended for three years.

Barton had admitted the charges at a previous court and sentencing was adjourned so that a pre-sentence report could be obtained.

A public prosecutor said that at approximately 1am police received a report of a disturbance at Hill Street in Lurgan.

The defendant was swinging a metal bar at a lamppost and was also shouting and swearing.

The occupant of the address said a gate and an ornament in the garden had been damaged.

Barton had previously been in a relationship with an occupant of the house.

He was unfit to be interviewed and when police spoke to him later Barton said he had consumed alcohol and had wanted to speak to the occupant.

The defendant made a full admission to the offences and said he was sorry.

Mr Conor Downey, representing Barton, said there was a marked change in his client’s behaviour when confronted by authority.

He added that there were signs that Barton was ‘beginning to catch himself on’.

Since this incident there had been no repetition of this behaviour, the solicitor said.

Deputy District Judge Neil Rafferty said this must have been a ‘threatening and frightening experience for this young lady’ although there was no actual violence offered to her or the police.

But, added the judge, with the defendant’s record this matter crossed the custody threshold but not the immediate custody threshold.

He told Barton his behaviour this night was ‘absolutely and utterly stupid’ and that if the defendant had consumed alcohol and thought something was a good idea to stop because it was probably not a good idea.