A MAN who “freaked out” and spat on a male police officer and punched a female officer on the nose causing her to fall back onto the ground has had a four months jail term replaced with two years Probation on appeal.
Andrew Bain (21), with an address at Chiswick Walk in Ballymena, had the appeal heard at the County Court in Antrim this week.
Previously at Ballymena Magistrates Court he pleaded guilty to being disorderly at Rossdale Manor in Ballymena; assaulting two police officers and possessing cannabis and Lyrica.
His appeal was against his sentence.
A prosecutor had told the Magistrates Court that at 9pm on April 30 this year police responded to a report of a disturbance at a property and as they attempted to arrest a female Bain made an attempt to intervene and was shouting and swearing.
He used a “full fist” to punch a female officer on the nose causing her to fall back onto the ground and suffer pain and he spat on a male officer.
The court heard Bain felt he was “cornered” by police and panicked and “freaked out”.
Defence barrister Stephen Law had told the Magistrates Court Bain was a “troubled young man” who had “utilised illegal substances for some time” and on the date in question had become “highly agitated”.
The lawyer accepted Bain was “at a crossroads”.
At the Magistrates Court, District Judge Nigel Broderick had said it was a “very poor” set of offences and said to punch any police officer, let alone a female officer, “full on the face, on the nose, is totally unacceptable”.
The court heard Bain had 22 previous offences including assaults on police.
The judge said the court had previously given the defendant a chance to “address the difficulties you have in your life” but he was being jailed for four months.
Bail had been fixed for appeal in the sum of £500 and the appeal has now been heard.
The County Court having considered a pre-sentence report was of the opinion that the supervision of the defendant is desirable for securing his rehabilitation.
The County Court imposed a Probation Order for two years.
Part of that involves alcohol/drug counselling and/or treatment programme.
The defendant shall present himself in accordance with the instructions given by the Probation Officer to attend PBNI HQ, 80-90 North Street, Belfast, or another venue specified by the Probation Officer; to participate actively in an alcohol/drug counselling and/or treatment programme during the Probation period; and to comply with the instructions given by or under the authority of the person in charge.
He must actively participate in any programme of work recommended by his supervising officer designed to reduce any risk he may present and to attend and co-operate in assessments by PBNI as to his suitability for programmes and other offence focused work.