Heroin addict was stabbed in back before injuring police officer who was trying to help him in area of former Simon Community property

This was the scene in the Henry Street area of Ballymena in March. Now a man has appeared in court.

A heroin addict who was stabbed in the back then caused an injury to a police officer’s face who was trying to help him in the area of the then vacant former Mill House Simon Community property at Henry Street in Ballymena.

Stephen McKee (28), formerly with an address in Newtownards and now said to be living in the Ballee area of Ballymena, was at Ballymena Magistrates Court on Thursday on charges of assaulting a police officer occasioning him actual bodily harm and disorderly behaviour.

A prosecutor said police were dealing with an incident in the area around 7.30pm on March 10 this year and they had to remove McKee but he “kicked off”, “lashing out violently” and shouting and swearing.

He was under the influence of alcohol and drugs and as attempts were being made to restrain him a policeman’s head struck a wall and the officer suffered a cut near his eye.

Defence barrister Ben Thompson said police attended as McKee had been stabbed in the back and he was “incredibly agitated”.

The lawyer accepted the officer had been trying to help McKee and the policeman ended up suffering “quite a significant injury”.

The lawyer said McKee, a heroin addict, has been prescribed methadone and is engaging with the Community Addictions Team.

The court heard McKee was in breach of a suspended sentence in relation to a “scrap metal” case and there had also been a Crown Court case.

District Judge Nigel Broderick said McKee had been given two previous chances by courts but within a few weeks he had assaulted the police officer.

He told the defendant he had been given chances as he jailed him for eight months.

The judge said he was also referring the Crown Court matter back to the judge there.

McKee was released on his own bail of £500 pending appeal.

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