‘I just get drunk and go mad’ - court told

Limavady Courthouse.
Limavady Courthouse.

A 35-year-old Ballykelly man who said when he sees police “it’s like a red rag to a bull” has received a suspended jail sentence.

William McLaughlin of Fort Drive was sentenced at Limavady Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday for the offence of disorderly behaviour committed in the early hours of May 27 in Portstewart.

The court heard police were parked outside a bar when McLaughlin approached them, and lunged his head towards the car window in a head butting motion, the court heard.

Police asked McLaughlin to leave, however, he shouted ‘f****** b*******’ at them. A friend managed to lead McLaughlin away from the area, but he returned later and shouted abuse and said ‘I’ll f****** chin all you b*******’.

Despite being warned about his behaviour, McLaughlin continued to be abusive, shouting obscenities and had to be physically restrained. When he was arrested, he shouted ‘Orange b*******’ and ‘British soldiers go home’.

The court heard details of another incident in Ballykelly on February 14. At approximately 2am, officers received a report from a woman that McLaughlin was drunk and was thumping on the door of her property at Fort Drive. She told police she shared the address with McLaughlin, but said they had an arrangement he wasn’t allowed to stay when he was drunk. The court McLaughlin called officers ‘black b*******’ and shouted other slurred words.

He was asked to calm down, but was subsequently arrested for using disorderly behaviour.

McLaughlin, who represented himself, told District Liam McNally: “I just get drunk and go mad”, and said when he sees police “it’s like a red rag to a bull”.

Judge McNally imposed a seven month sentence suspended for three years.

Judge McNally told McLaughlin it was his “last opportunity”.