Man with more than 180 convictions pleads guilty to assaulting paramedic

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

A man who assaulted a paramedic as he was receiving treatment has been jailed for eight months.

Patrick James Anthony Farren, of Stoneburn Place, pleaded guilty to common assault, attempted criminal damage and disorderly behaviour.

The charges relate to an incident in the Guildhall Square area of the city on February 2.

Derry Magistrates Court heard that an ambulance was called to reports of an unconscious male in Guildhall Square.

A paramedic arrived on the scene and found the 52-year-old lying in the recovery position with members of the public gathered around him.

As the paramedic was treating Farren he came to and was immediately aggressive.

He lashed out at the paramedic both verbally and physically.

The court heard Farren kicked the paramedic, hitting him on the head and neck area.

The paramedic managed to get away to his vehicle and the 52-year-old kicked the car.

Police arrived a short time later and Farren told the officers to ‘f*** away off’ before stating ‘this is an IRA town’.

Farren has over 180 previous convictions, with almost 100 of these for public order offences.

A defence solicitor told the court his client cannot remember the incident as he had ‘blacked out’.

He said Farren had come to court to pay off a fine, however when he found the court office was closed he went to a local bar and had a couple of drinks.

The solicitor said the 52-year-old does not remember assaulting the paramedic but is remorseful about it.

District Judge Barney McElholm said Farren had been before the court three times in the last two months and on each occasion he had been given a chance.

The judge said ‘assaults on paramedics will not be tolerated’ and jailed the 52-year-old for a total of eight months.

Farren must also pay an offender levy of £25.