Man is jailed for head-butting a police officer

A 27-year-old man was given prison sentences totalling eight months when he appeared last Friday at Craigavon Magistrates Court.

Hugo Duarte, Hanover Street, Portadown, was sentenced to two months in custody on each of two charges of disorderly behaviour on August 3 and four months for assault on the police.

A suspended sentence of four months was put into operation to run consecutively, making a total of eight months.

The case had been adjourned from a previous court so that a pre-sentence report could be obtained.

The court heard that there were two men fighting in the street.

A barrister for the defendant said that this was a serious case because Duarte was in breach of a suspended sentence. The assault on police involved the use of his head although the officer was not substantially injured.

He added that when police arrived on the scene Duarte was in a fight which he wasn’t winning. He had been drinking alcohol in the house and had an alcohol problem because of which he lost his employment.

He also sabotaged his relationship with his family.

The lawyer added that his client did not even know what started the row.

He told probation that he did not intend to head-butt the police officer and that it just happened in the course of his arrest. He was a drunk man behaving in a violent way.

The barrister conceded that Duarte “had to have his heels cooled”.

He said he got a suspended sentence for having a knife in his pocket which wasn’t used in any way.

District Judge, Mr Mervyn Bates, said the head-butt was an aggravating factor.

He added that Duarte had progressed through fines, community service and probation, and a suspended sentence and this left him with no options.

Imposing the custodial sentences the judge ordered the defendant to pay a £25 offender’s levy.

Duarte was released on his own bail of £500 to appeal against the sentences.