Football manager broke cop’s nose

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A man who broke a police officer’s nose has had a six month jail term suspended for two years.

Patrick Joseph Tracey, of Leenan Gardens, pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm, disorderly behaviour and resisting police.

The charges relate to an incident on the Spencer Road on December 17, last year.

Derry Magistrate’s Court heard the 35-year-old became abusive to police in a fast food outlet and was arrested for continuously shouting at them.

As the handcuffs were being placed on his wrists, Tracey “appeared to lose control” and headbutted an officer.

It was revealed the officer fell to the ground and sustained a broken nose.

Defence solicitor Seamus Quigley told the court his client was someone who had “given something back to the community” as the manager of a Waterside football team.

He also handed in a reference from a priest on behalf of Tracey, who could have been described as a “gentle giant” in the past.

Mr Quigley said the 35-year-old had consumed too much alcohol and revealed that after the incident he had been the “bigger man” by going to the police station to apologise to the officer.

Suspending the jail term, District Judge Barney McElholm said it was a “very serious assault on a police officer doing his duty”.

He said he also gave credit to Tracey for “having the manners to go and apologise to the officer”.

As well as the suspended jail term, District Judge McElholm ordered the 35-year-old to pay £600 compensation to the injured officer.