Pair brought to court following bizarre incident

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Two men who were involved in a ‘bizarre incident’ outside Lurgan were given suspended prison sentences last Friday at Craigavon Magistrates Court.

They were Connor Noel McGuinness (24), Georges Island Road, Aghalee, and Bernard Seamus Michael O’Hare (26), Castleview, Gilford.

They both admitted a charge of disorderly behaviour on the Gilford Road, Lurgan, on April 16 this year.

McGuinness was sentenced to two months in prison, suspended for 12 months, and O’Hare was given five months in custody, suspended for three years.

The court heard that at 9.30am police received a report of men attempting to flag down vehicles at Gibson’s Hill. It was also alleged stones were thrown at a mission hall and an Orange Hall.

Police saw the two defendants waving their hands in the air and dancing about on the roadside. A motorist said they had thrown stones at his vehicle. The defendants tried to make off and hid in thick foliage. They were laughing and abusive to police who warned them to moderate their language.

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

Mr Conor Downey, representing O’Hare, said that substance abuse had affected his client’s wellbeing and the condition he was in very early in the morning highlighted his issues. He added that what happened was more of a nuisance value and urged the court to consider a suspended sentence.

A solicitor for McGuinness said his client had a shorter record than the co-accused and it was mostly for driving offences.

He added that the defendant was full of remorse for his actions in what was a bizarre incident completely out of character for him. A lot of alcohol had been taken.

District Judge, Mr Mervyn Bates, said it was something of a bizarre occasion but the language used to police officers was very offensive.