Ballymena Court: Man was aggressive towards a police officer after graffiti appeared ‘about his sexuality’

Ballymena Court

A MAN who claimed he was upset about the spraying of graffiti “about his sexuality” was aggressive to police and told an officer he would “empty” her, Ballymena Magistrates Court heard.

Shane Murphy (29) pleaded guilty to a charge of assault on police in relation to September 15 this year. A charge of disorderly behaviour was withdrawn.

A prosecutor said police were called to the Simon Community hostel in Larne at 5am after staff asked for the defendant, a resident, to be removed from the premises.

Murphy was drunk, aggressive and swearing loudly, and outside he was “flailing” his arms around and told a police officer he would “empty” her.

A defence lawyer told the court, sitting in Antrim: “It would appear that graffiti was sprayed in the area about his sexuality and he was upset about that.

“He also instructs that he lost his mother through Covid in July this year and due to lockdown he wasn’t able to attend her burial which again upset him.

“He basically indicates that life just got on top of him and he drank large amounts,” the lawyer said.

The defence lawyer said it had been a “verbal” assault and there had been no actual physical contact with the officer.

The court was told the defendant had apologised for his behaviour and is now getting counselling from the “East Belfast Mission”.

The defendant – with an address listed as Curran Road in Larne – was fined £100.

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