Shouted abuse at judge after wife jailed

A man who admitted falsely claiming over £140,000 in benefits with his wife shouted obscenities at a judge after his wife was jailed.

Derry Crown Court Judge Piers Grant adjourned the sentencing of Michael Cecil Harkin until today after he was called a “f****** w*****” by the defendant.

Harkin, of Circular Road, falsely claimed a total of £67,292 between December 16, 1999 and August 3, 2009 by not declaring he was married and living with his wife.

Donna McCool, 46, also of Circular Road, falsely claimed a total of £76,817 of Income Support and Job Seekers Allowance between September 26, 1990 and August 10, 2009.

During interview it was claimed by the couple their marriage lasted only two days and their six children were the “result of making up”.

Judge Piers Grant jailed McCool for five months. He said that it is “quite clear that every penny of government money is needed” and those who falsely claim benefits are “stealing from neighbours and other members of the public”.

Harkin was remanded in custody after his outburst to appear in court later today.