Jailed for ‘foul sectarian abuse’

The courthouse at Bishop Street, Derry.
The courthouse at Bishop Street, Derry.

A man who was asked to leave a shop in Ballykelly engaged in ‘a diatribe of foul sectarian abuse’ towards police, a court has heard.

Patrick Farren, of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty to being disorderly and a charge of criminal damage to a police vehicle on December 23 last.

The 56-years-old has over 240 previous convictions on his criminal record, including a number for public order offences.

Derry Magistrate’s Court was told that Farren was in a shop in Ballykelly and staff asked police to remove him.

Officers took him to a local hotel, where he had been staying since he was released from prison.

Once they arrived there Farren started being abusive to police calling them ‘Orange b------s’.

The court was told that there were several Christmas events going on at the time, with a Santa present, and there were a lot of young children in the area.

Farren was arrested and placed in a custody van.

The defendant spat on the floor of the vehicle and then urinated on it.

Defence solicitor Eugene Burns said his client had consumed ‘too much alcohol’ on the day in question.

He added that Farren was unaware of the Christmas events taking place at the hotel.

The solicitor told the court the defendant has 117 convictions for disorderly behaviour and a total of 244 previous convictions on his record.

The defendant was jailed for five months.