Man in court on public order offences

Concurrent jail terms totalling five months were imposed at Derry Magistrate’s Court on a man charged with public order offences.

Sean Patrick McGavigan, of 56 Carrick Strand, Strabane, was charged with common assault, criminal damage to property owned by Downey’s bar and resisting arrest on October 20 last year.

The Court heard the defendant and another male entered a shop in Derry on the date in question. It was obvious he was heavily intoxicated and he verbally abused the person behind the counter, calling out “gypsy p... b.....d”.

Prosecuting counsel said the defendant was asked to leave but was offensive before going.

A short time later the injured party identified McGavigan to police, but when they went to speak to him he ran off, jumped a railing and fell into the awning of a business premises, damaging it, and police had to catch him before he fell onto the ground.

At that stage, counsel said, McGavigan lashed out and kicked at police, and had to have handcuffs and leg retraints placed on him.

McGavigan alleged the injured party had come round the counter and pushed him, but two independent witnesses said the injured party had not moved and had remained behind the counter.

Defence counsel, Stephen Mooney, said his client did not have a prolific record and he asked the court not to impose “an exceptionally draconian sentence”.

Noting that the maximum sentence he could impose was six months, the District Judge imposed a five month sentence for the common assault, with concurrent four month sentences on the remaining two charges, together with an offender levy of £25.