‘Complete menace to society’ jailed for nine months

Derry's Courthouse on Bishop Street. 3003JM66
Derry's Courthouse on Bishop Street. 3003JM66

A man who called a police officer a ‘dirty rat’ and threatened to burn the home of another officer has been jailed for nine months.

Liam Anthony Bradley, of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty to assaulting police and making a threat to damage property.

The 44-year-old also admitted causing damage to a window in Magee College on April 14.

Derry Magistrate’s Court heard security staff at the university called police in the early hours of the morning because they believed someone was trying to get into the property.

They had heard several loud bangs prior to contacting police and found Bradley beside a broken window.

He told the security staff people had been throwing things at him, however there was no debris around him.

No value could be provided for the damage caused and the 44-year-old was arrested.

During police interview, Bradley became aggressive and ‘rude’.

He told one of the officers he knew where she lived and would ‘boot the door in and burn it down’.

Bradley turned to a second officer and said she was a ‘dirty rat for doing what she did’.

He also threatened to break her neck.

It was revealed the defendant has 223 previous convictions.

Defence counsel Nicola Coulter told the court all of her client’s offending ‘arise out of his homeless status’.

She said Bradley has been homeless for the last 20 years and on the night in question was looking for somewhere to sleep.

The barrister said the 44-year-old believed the empty building in Magee was derelict, however it had just been refurbished.

Ms Coulter told the court Bradley became angry during police interview because ‘he did not believe the police had shown sufficient sympathy for his homeless status’.

She said it was accepted the remarks made by her client were ‘atrocious’ and there was no excuse for his behaviour.

The barrister said if Bradley was able to find somewhere to live, he would be able to claim benefits and ‘stand a reasonable prospect of avoiding the court’.

Jailing Bradley, District Judge Barney McElholm said the 44-year-old was a ‘complete menace to society’.

‘When he is at liberty he offends over and over again and he makes no attempt to deal with any of his problems’.

The judge added that Bradley’s behaviour to the two police officers during interview was ‘completely disgraceful’.

Judge McElholm jailed the defendant for six months for breaking the window in Magee.

He imposed a three month consecutive sentence for the threats made to police because the behaviour was ‘so objectionable and aggressive’.