Man jailed for spitting in face of police officer

A man who spat in the face of a police officer in Templepatrick has been jailed for three months.

Friday, 30th July 2021, 3:30 pm

Michael Coyle (26), of Ballymoney Road, Ballymena, admitted assaulting a police officer; being disorderly at Templeton Park in Templepatrick; causing criminal damage to a police vehicle and damaging a car and the front door of a house on January 25 this year.

He smashed a car window with his fist and threw a plant pot at a house at Templeton Park. Coyle then kicked a police officer in the face and spat in his face and when placed in a police vehicle continued to spit, requiring it to be deep-cleaned. He was again disorderly at Templeton Park on April 5 this year when he was in breach of bail banning him from drinking and he shouted and swore when police arrived. On June 13 this year he was “aggressive” towards staff when he had stolen alcohol at the Co-op at Ballymena’s Broughshane Street. He swore and shouted when police arrived and refused to get into a police vehicle. Arising out of that offence he admitted charges of theft, being disorderly and resisting police. He told police he had taken “street Valium” as he was worried about an “upcoming court case”. A defence lawyer told the court the defendant accepted it was “unwise” to be taking Valium and he regretted his offending. Jailing the defendant at Antrim Magistrates Court, sitting in Ballymena, District Judge Nigel Broderick told the defendant: “You spat in a police officer’s face in the middle of a pandemic. The courts have been very clear that that is an aggravating feature and will readily attract a custodial sentence”.

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