A man who was disorderly outside the Jobs & Benefits Office in Ballymena after spending a night sleeping rough following his release from prison has been given a suspended jail term.
Francis Kelly appeared at Ballymena Magistrates Court via video link from Maghaberry Prison, on Thursday and pleaded guilty to charges of disorderly behaviour and two assaults on police following the incident at Parkway last Friday.
A prosecutor said the defendant was “stumbling and swearing” outside the benefits office and when police were called he told officers to “f–k off”.
He was being verbally abusive and threatened to fight a member of G4S staff and attempted to headbutt a police officer.
A defence lawyer said Kelly was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the 12.40pm incident last Friday.
It was claimed Kelly had “met up with someone who was a bad influence”.
The defendant, whose address was listed as no fixed abode in Belfast, but who is originally from Donegal, is planning to stay in Northern Ireland to “try to get himself on track”, the court heard.
Kelly was given a four months jail term, suspended for one year.