A MAN spat in a woman’s face in the area of Ballymena Train Station, the town’s Magistrates Court was told.
Bradley Smith (19), with an address at Cable Street in Derry/Londonderry, was at court for sentencing on charges of assault and obstructing police in relation to January 8 this year.
The court heard police were attending another matter at Ballymena Train Station at 5.20pm and a woman said her son was being “harassed” by the defendant.
The prosecutor said the woman had got out of a vehicle and approached her son and the defendant in an attempt to “calm the matter” but Bradley tried to hit her “and spat on her face and clothing” before leaving the area.
A description was provided and police spotted him walking at Henry Street in Ballymena but the defendant ran away.
When interviewed the defendant had denied the allegations.
The court heard the defendant had a previous record and in March had been given Community Service and Probation at a court in Belfast.
A defence lawyer said deferring sentencing on the new matter was realistically the only alternative to immediate custody.
The case had previously been heard as a contest and District Judge Nigel Broderick said from memory the victim was a care assistant or nurse and she was off duty and in her uniform.
A prosecutor said the victim had been on her lunch break.
Judge Broderick said: “Normally for anyone spitting at somebody during a pandemic I would readily send them to prison”.
However, he said there was a “glimmer” of hope for the defendant and deferred the case to December to see if he could keep out of trouble and complete his current Community Service and Probation.