‘Not enough police were murdered by the IRA’

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A 25-year-old man used pro-IRA and sectarian language and told officers that not enough police were being murdered by the IRA when he was being arrested.

George Matchett, whose address was given as c/o Magilligan Prison, admitted a number of offences which happened on July 29 last year.

They were resisting a constable, disorderly behaviour and criminal damage to a police cell van.

The case had been listed as a contest last Wednesday at Craigavon Magistrates Court but defence barrister Aaron Thompson indicated there would now be pleas of guilty.

He pointed out that in August and December of last year Matchett had received immediate custodial sentences.

A prosecutor said police who were in Garvaghy Park in Portadown were told there was an active bench warrant against the defendant.

They found him hidden in an alleyway with an open glass bottle of alcohol. He was told on several occasions to put it down but as police approached him he lifted the bottle above his head.

When arrested he resisted violently, lashing out with his legs and arms and had to be restrained. He continued to be disorderly in front of children and residents of the estate.

Matchett said not enough police were being murdered by the IRA and he was using pro IRA and sectarian language. He was shouting and singing songs.

In the police van he kicked at the roof breaking the Perspex and damaging a light fitting. He spat so much the vehicle had to be deep cleaned at a cost of £103.15.

District Judge, Mrs Bernie Kelly, said if these offences had been dealt with along with the previous sentences they would have been rolled in with them. She said the fairest way to deal with it was to adjourn so Matchett could come up with compensation.

Adjourning the case until June 5 she told him if he brought the compensation she would find a way he would not receive and immediate custodial sentence.