Woman who blocked traffic ordered to do Community Service

A woman who stood in the middle of William Street in Ballymena and blocked traffic has been ordered to do 60 hours of Community Service.

Friday, 17th September 2021, 2:16 pm

Marlene O’Boyle was also shouting and swearing at police and passers-by including children, the town’s Magistrates Court heard.

The defendant - (44), of Lisles Hill Road near Glenarm - admitted being disorderly and assaulting a police officer around 4pm on June 8 this year.

A prosecutor said the defendant passed a police foot patrol and officers noted she was “visibly upset and crying”.

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The defendant was asked if she needed assistance but she continued walking on without speaking.

Officers then heard a disturbance and saw the defendant in the middle of the road where she had blocked traffic.

Police took her back onto the footpath and the defendant appeared to be intoxicated and said she had been drinking in a nearby bar.

She began to be verbally aggressive to police and was shouting and swearing towards passers-by, including children.

At one stage she almost knocked into a person walking past.

The defendant was given several chances to moderate her behaviour and, the prosecutor said, police “attempted to arrange for her to return home” but her “behaviour declined”.

She was “taken to a nearby taxi office” but refused to leave the area and began shouting.

A police cell van was called and she refused to walk to it and struggled and kicked out at officers

Once in handcuffs she co-operated and was “taken to another taxi office where she left the area”.

A defence lawyer said the defendant had been “off alcohol” since the incident.

He told the court that on the day in question the defendant had been “upset following the death of a friend”.

District Judge Nigel Broderick said she “needs to address this behaviour” and told her: “Hopefully, this is your last time appearing in court”.