Sentenced to six months - two days after being released from jail

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A Derry man who spat on a bus driver one day after being released from prison was sentenced to a further six months in jail on Wednesday.

Damien Joseph Young, 47, was released from Maghaberry on Monday November 4. Derry Magistrate’s Court heard that at 3.30pm on November 5 a bus driver was forced to slow his vehicle on the Strand Road to avoid hitting the inebriated defendant.

The driver then warned Young of the danger he posed to himself and others.

A short distance later the driver again stopped the vehicle to allow passengers to alight. It was at this stage the defendant, of no fixed abode, spat through a window at the driver. A struggle then ensued between the two men. Police were called and they arrested Young for assault.

A defence solicitor stated: “This was a completely uncalled for assault and my client accepts that a custodial sentence is probable. He has apologised to the driver, despite claiming to have only a vague recollection of what happened.”

Imposing the jai term, District Judge Barney McElholm said: “This man gets locked up, gets out, goes on a drinking binge and creates a nuisance. I’ve tried everything from suspended sentences to prison. While I don’t see custody as the answer, what answer is there? It is unfair to fine him as he won’t pay, probation won’t work as he won’t go and he has no intention of stopping drinking.”

Imposing a six month prison term, Judge McElholm added: “This city and its people deserve some respite from this man and his loutish, thuggish behaviour.”