Court is told of ‘hammer fight’ in local car park

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POLICE rushed to Ballymena Jobs & Benefits office after a report of six men, armed with hammers, fighting in the carpark, a prosecutor told the town’s Magistrates Court on Thursday.

And when they viewed CCTV it showed Ivan Paul Law (33) taking a hammer and metal pole from the boot of a Vauxhall Zafira car

Law (33), of Windsor Walk, Ballymena, told police during interview he didn’t recognise anybody on the CCTV, the prosecutor added.

A defence barrister said Law had taken a family member to the job centre and the relative met someone he had been involved in a disagreement with and there was a “large altercation” in the car park involving the relative and other individuals.

He said Law was arrested because he had a hammer and a metal scaffolding pole but “there was some confusion as to what happened”.

The lawyer added: “I don’t think the Crown case is that he was part of the general melee.”

He said that was borne out by the charges his client faced.

Law had previously pleaded guilty to charges of possessing a hammer and metal bars as an offensive weapon in a public place and possession of cannabis.

District Judge Chris Holmes told Law he did not know what exactly he was “up to” on the day of the incident.

He bound the defendant over to keep the peace for a year on the sum of £500 and fined him £300 on the drugs offence.