Man assaulted six police officers with headbutts, kicks and attempted bites and was then disruptive at hospital

A general view of Antrim Area Hospital. The defendant was disorderly there. Picture: Ballymena Daily.

A MAN lashed out with headbutts, kicks and attempted bites after being arrested.

Nicholas Donnelly (28), with an address listed as Lisnamanny Road, Martinstown, pleaded guilty to assaulting six police officers; resisting one of them in the execution of his duty and being disorderly at Chichester Park East in Ballymena on December 19 last year.

He also admitted being disorderly at Antrim Hospital in June 2019.

A prosecutor told Ballymena Magistrates Court that at 4.40am on December 19 last year the defendant was arrested and became irate, kicking, lashing out and headbutting police as well as headbutting a wall, causing a cut to his eye.

He kicked a constable causing an officer to fall back and smash a mirror in a bedroom. Donnelly was restrained and limb restraints had to be put on.

The defendant assaulted several other police officers by kicks, headbutts and attempted bites and had to be “carried” by police because he was lashing out.

The prosecutor said a male police officer was caused “significant pain” after being kicked in the groin.

Outside a property the defendant hurled abuse at police and banged his head off a pavement and had to be stopped from doing so by an officer.

Donnelly had to be transported to hospital and continued to be abusive there, the prosecutor said.

On June 27 last year police attended an address in Ballymena and when Donnelly was arrested he became disorderly and had to be taken to Antrim Area Hospital where he was disorderly.

“While being treated by staff he continuously swore at them despite being requested to desist,” the prosecutor said.

Defence barrister Michael Smyth said at the time of the offences the defendant had very serious addictions to “illicit substances” and on both occasions he had been “heavily intoxicated” and had been behaving erratically.

The lawyer said the defendant had little recollection of the incidents.

Mr Smyth said he appreciated the court would be concerned about someone being disorderly in a hospital and Donnelly was “very apprehensive” about sentencing.

The defence barrister said Donnelly has now been to see the Community Addiction Team and had “made quite commendable strides” in addressing his own difficulties.

He said towards the end of 2019 the defendant “suffered a very serious paramilitary attack where both hands were very, very, seriously damaged and required pins and surgery” but is fit to drive a van and now works part-time.

District Judge Nigel Broderick said normally he would have been thinking of jail but noted a pre-sentence report said the defendant would benefit from Probation supervision and he also took onboard Donnelly’s meetings with Community Addiction services.

The defendant was given a three months prison sentence, suspended for twelve months, and put on Probation for a year.

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