A 27-year-old man who threatened to assault a paramedic who was attending to his friend was given a suspended prison sentence last Friday at Craigavon Magistrates Court.
Aaron Hughes, Victoria Street, Lurgan, admitted common assault on a female and disorderly behaviour on March 23 this year.
The case had been adjourned until last week to obtain a pre-sentence report.
The court heard that police were tasked to Victoria Street in Lurgan after reports of a male being aggressive towards ambulance staff.
A friend of the defendant was being treated by the paramedics and Hughes repeatedly interfered trying to give his friend a cigarette. Staff stopped him because of the presence of oxygen tanks.
Hughes then told one of the staff: “You wouldn’t be so sweet if I dragged you out onto the street and beat the s—t out of you.”
When police arrived at the scene he became agitated and was warned about his behaviour but continued to swear.
Mr Aaron Thompson, barrister for the defendant, said what his client did was ‘absolutely appalling’ and the paramedic thought she was going to be assaulted but there was no actual physical assault.
He added that it still remained an extremely serious matter and Hughes had admitted in the pre-sentence report that on the night he had taken cocaine. His friend had taken a seizure and he was distressed about him.
Mr Thompson said that probation thought they could help him and the court could put him to the test with a probation order.
Deputy District Judge Trevor Browne said he had considered all the options in the case but was not particularly attracted to probation or community service.
He felt there was a more compelling way to keep Hughes on the straight and narrow.
The judge said what the defendant had done was ‘just inexcusable’ and crossed the custody threshold.
He added that the ambulance people were there to clear up the mess and they were abused and threatened.
Judge Brown sentenced him to a total of four months in prison which he suspended for two years.
“It’s up to him to take the chance,” he added.