Ballykelly teen gets suspended sentence after threat to police

Limavady Courthouse.
Limavady Courthouse.

A Ballykelly teenager who threatened to burn a police officer and his family out of their home has avoided jail when he was sentenced at Limavady Magistrates Court.

Appearing at court on Wednesday was 18-year-old Scott McElwee with an address at Tamlough Park. He pleaded guilty to obstructing police, threats to damage property, disorderly behaviour and resisting police.

The court heard police were conducting a house search on 8 August 2014 when the offences occurred. McElwee was sentenced to a total of five months in prison, suspended for 18 months for the offences.

The court heard those present in the property were asked to remain in the living room during the search.

However, McElwee became abusive and demanded to see the search warrant. He tried to leave the room and was abusive to police, calling them “pigs and paedos”.

The teenager was warned about his behaviour and asked to calm down and to sit down, but he continued to be unco-operative.

As police searched McElwee they told him they would seize his mobile phone, but McElwee threw it to the ground, smashing it, and then attempted to leave. He was handcuffed and placed back in the living room.

The court heard McElwee then tried to climb through the window as he was cuffed. He was subsequently detained outside and shouted further abuse at police. He told an officer he would find out where he and his children lived and “burn you out”, and also said he would perform a sexual act on the officer’s wife.

During an interview he said he had anger management issues, and admitted losing his temper. He said he didn’t like the police but denied making the threats.

Defence counsel Nicola Rountree said it had been “an unsavoury incident”. She said at the time of the search there was “family time”, and McElwee had taken a “protective role towards his mother”, and said he didn’t feel “there was any need for so many police”.

District Judge Peter King said that McElwee’s language towards the police officer was “beyond disgusting”.