Wasted police time

A 26-year-old man who lied to police after his brother bit off his ear has received a suspended jail term.

Brian Cross, of Glenbank Road, pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice in March last year.

He was sentenced earlier this year and received a three year probation order. However, the probation order was revoked after he failed to attend an addiction treatment programme.

Derry Crown Court heard that Cross wasted 23 hours of police time because he claimed that an unknown person had bitten off part of his ear. However, he later admitted it was his brother and told police he lied because he didn’t want to get his brother in trouble.

Defence counsel Seamus McNeill said Cross and his brother are best friends and “that was the motivation for making a false statement”.

He said Cross initially complied with the probation order but difficulties arose in September because of the breakdown of a long term relationship.

Mr McNeill said his client has stayed out of trouble and realises that he needs assistance with his problems. The barrister added that the only person that can help Cross now is himself.

Suspending a 12 month jail term for two years, Judge Philip Babington said the 26-year-old had not only wasted police time but also the time of probation.