‘Thuggery polluting streets of Limavady’ - says Judge

A Limavady teenager convicted of disorderly behaviour and assaulting police was told his conduct was an example of the “late night thuggery” that is “polluting” the streets of the town.

District Judge Paul Copeland made the remarks at Wednesday’s sitting of Limavady Magistrate’s Court when sentencing Rory Devlin from 11 Grannagh Park.

The 19-year-old was convicted of assaulting and resisting police and using disorderly behaviour on November 20, 2011.

The court heard police were on Catherine Street at around 1.40am and saw two males on the road in a verbal altercation. They separated the pair, but Devlin was subsequently seen moving rapidly towards the other party. There was a struggle and police were met with a high level of violent resistance and Devlin fell to the ground. He lashed out repeatedly and kicked one police officer causing bruising to the arm and cuts and grazes on the officer’s hand. A second police officer was punched to the chest. Devlin appeared intoxicated and officers were called to assist. He was arrested for being disorderly and assaulting police and struggled violently and was handcuffed and arrested for resisting police. In the police vehicle he punched an officer on the top of the head and after he calmed down and was cautioned he was violent in the custody suite and assaulted the custody sergeant, by kicking the officer in the mouth. During interview he said he had drunk six pints of larger that night before consuming a further four to five in licensed premises. He said he couldn’t remember what happened.

Defence solicitor Dermot Downey said the behaviour of Devlin, a second year university student, was ‘disgraceful” and that night he had consumed a considerable amount of alcohol. He said there was a history between Devlin and the other party which police were aware of. He said, however, there was no justification for it.

Judge Copeland told Devlin he was of a mind to send him to jail for setting on the other party “viciously”. He told Devlin he had been “crazed with well over a gallon and a quarter of beer” and had provided another spectacle and example of the late night thuggery which is all too frequently polluting the streets of Limavady and “then you turn on the police”.

Devlin received a three month jail term, suspended for two years and was ordered to pay compensation totalling £500 to the officers “who were on the receiving end” of his “violent and drunken aggression”.

“You’ll go to jail for a fortnight if you don’t pay within 10 weeks” warned Mr. Copeland.