Pulled a knife when he was refused drink

Craigavon Court House. INLM0311-117gc
Craigavon Court House. INLM0311-117gc

When he was refused a drink at a local hotel bar, a 34-year- old man reached into his sock and pulled out a knife, a court has been told.

Nicholas Robert Sweeten, Corcrain Avenue, Portadown, was jailed at Craigavon Magistrates Court for three months after admitting a series of offences.

He pleaded guilty to disorderly behaviour on October 31 last year, criminal damage to

a police vehicle, assault on police, possessing an article with a blade and common assault on a male.

The court heard that at 2pm staff at the Seagoe Hotel refused to serve any further alcohol to the defendant who was sitting in the bar area.

There was a bruise above his left eye and as he was leaving became aggressive towards staff, challenging them to fight.

There were a number of people in reception at the time.

Sweeten then reached into his right sock and pulled out a knife. He punched out in the

direction of a member of staff and then ran off.

Police were given a description of the defendant and he was located and arrested.

After assaulting an officer he spat in the police vehicle and this resulted in a cleaning cost of £132.20.

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

A barrister representing the defendant said Sweeten was intoxicated and the incident started as a nuisance and then escalated.

He added that he conceded that the defendant had not engaged completely in the past

with the mental health and addiction services.

The lawyer said these were serious matters and in his last court appearance Sweeten had received a suspended sentence in the Crown Court.

After that, he continued, he seemed to get back on the straight and narrow until this

incident last year.

The barrister added that Sweeten was keen to engage with the services. He was suffering from an illness which he would have to deal with for the rest of his life.

The defendant was not a dry alcoholic and was nowhere near it at this stage, the barrister added.

District Judge, Mrs Bernie Kelly, said these were serious charges and because Sweeten had forearmed himself with a knife this pushed the matters over the custody threshold.

She imposed three months in custody on each charge, the terms to run concurrently, and ordered Sweeten to pay a £25 offender’s levy.