Described himself as a ‘mouthpiece’- court told

A 35-year-old Limavady man who committed a provocative act as a band passed on the Twelfth of July has received a suspended sentence. 

Martin Joseph McLaughlin of Roemill Gardens appeared at Limavady Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday also charged with disorderly behaviour and obstructing police.  

The court heard police were at Kennaught Terrace when they saw McLaughlin waving his fist at the band. He appeared to be under the influence of alcohol and was warned about his behaviour. He offered to fight police. He said to an officer: “You think you’re a big man. Well Sinn Fein is bigger that all of you, there’s something big coming!”

He then made a rude gesture and said: “I’m a mouthpiece. That’s exactly what I am.” 

Defence solicitor Brian Stelfox said his client said someone in the band had waved a stick at him. He said he lived in a mixed area and “there were no issues of sectarianism, as such”. He said his client summed it up when he said he was a mouthpiece. He said McLaughlin’s comments were grossly inappropriate. 

McLaughlin was sentenced to three months in jail, suspended for two years, fined £150 and ordered to pay a £15 offender’s levy.