Man signed himself out of mental health unit and booked himself into Galgorm Spa and Golf Resort but was arrested after drink binge

Galgorm Resort. Picture: Google Maps

A MAN who signed himself out of a psychiatric facility then booked himself into the Galgorm Spa and Golf Resort where he was disorderly and burnt a carpet after a drinking binge.

Peter King (42) pleaded guilty to being disorderly; assaulting a police officer and to causing criminal damage to a carpet at the hotel on March 10 this year.

When arrested he caused criminal damage to a police cell by writing the name ‘Bobby Sands’ on the wall.

A prosecutor told Ballymena Magistrates Court police received a report from the hotel that a man was refusing to leave and was causing a disturbance.

Police found King highly intoxicated and he refused several requests to leave and when officers attempted to escort him away he lifted his fist “as if to assault” an officer.

A staff member told police the defendant had been smoking in his hotel room and burnt the carpet which cost £500 to fix.

When interviewed the defendant admitted to police he had been a “pest” in the hotel after downing “15-20 double vodkas” and some shots and he remembered being asked to leave but that he “didn’t want to”.

He recalled raising his fist but said he would never have hit the officer.

The defendant said he didn’t realise he had burnt the carpet but accepted he had been smoking in his room, the prosecutor added.

The court was also told that when King was taken to Antrim Police Station he was observed on CCTV in a cell where he had written the name ‘Bobby Sands’ on a wall along with ‘IRA’ and was arrested for criminal damage.

Defence barrister Stephen Law said there was a “history of substance misuse”.

King “of his own volition seemed to take himself to Galgorm,” said Mr Law, after releasing himself, against medical authority, from the ‘Bluestone Unit’ – a psychiatric facility in Craigavon.

The lawyer said the defendant had “complex mental health needs” but had consumed excessive amounts of alcohol at the hotel as opposed to “maintaining strict prescription usage within the unit”.

Mr Law said he accepted it had been a “very unsavoury and very serious matter”.

District Judge Nigel Broderick told King, of Darkley Road, Keady, it had been “reprehensible behaviour”.

The judge ordered him to pay £500 compensation for the damage at the hotel.

He put the defendant on Probation for a year with requirements that he attends GP and mental health appointments.

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