Ballymena Court hears man is alleged to have ‘spanked’ his buttocks after dropping tracksuit bottoms in front of police officers at beautyspot

The defendant is charged in relation to an alleged incident at Loughshore Park in Antrim.

A MAN is alleged to have dropped his tracksuit bottoms before he “spanked” his buttocks in front of PSNI officers who were in a police cell van which had been parked at a beautyspot.

Matthew Rooney (21) is charged in relation to an incident at Loughshore Park in Antrim on Wednesday afternoon.

He appeared via a video link from Antrim Police Station at Ballymena Magistrates Court, sitting in Antrim, on Thursday.

He is charged with indecent behaviour, possession of cannabis and causing criminal damage to a police cell van.

A police officer said he believed he could connect the accused to the charges and said the PSNI were opposing a bail application.

The officer said at 5.15pm on Wednesday police were on mobile patrol in Antrim and after they “parked up” at Loughshore Park two males approached the cell van and one indicated for police to roll the window down.

The officer said a male spoke to police “but quickly became frustrated and walked away” and a minute later the same male, now identified as the defendant, walked to the front of the cell van, turned his back, and “pulled down his tracksuit bottoms”.

The PSNI man told the court: “He showed his buttocks to the three police officers in the van, spanked himself, before walking off”.

The officer said police exited and brought Rooney back to the cell van and whilst emptying his pockets a small foil wrap fell out which police suspected was cannabis.

The defendant was arrested for indecent behaviour and possession of Class B drugs and further checks showed he was on court bail which included a condition that he was not to consume intoxicating liquour.

The officer said police believed Rooney was under the influence of alcohol at Loughshore Park which he said the defendant denied.

The PSNI man said whilst being taken to a police station the defendant spat in the rear of the cell van.

The officer feared the defendant would commit further offences if on bail.

The court heard the defendant, with previous addresses at Trostan Avenue in Ballymena and Somerset Park in Antrim, was on bail for previous alleged offences .

Defence barrister Aaron Thompson said he had not spoken with the defendant at that stage but the alleged Loughshore Park offences sounded “fairly brazen” and didn’t seem like the “most guileful or grave matter in the criminal calendar”.

District Judge Nigel Broderick released the defendant to bail on the sum of £500 with a 9pm-7am curfew; an electronic tag and an alcohol ban.

He warned the defendant, now with an address at Cavehill Road in Belfast, that he was giving him a “chance” because of his limited record but warned him if he breaches bail again he could face custody.

The case was adjourned to the end of October.

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