‘I hope you die like Ronan Kerr’ man told police

Limavady Courthouse
Limavady Courthouse

An Eglinton man who resisted police told them ‘I hope you die like Ronan Kerr’, a court in Limavady has heard.

Mark Robert William Olphert, from Madison Avenue, Eglinton, appeared at Limavady Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday where he was sentenced for the offences of resisting a police officer and being disorderly on August 7.

The court heard Olphert, 35, made the comments when police came to arrest him.

When police took Olphert outside he struggled and shouted: “Black b*******’ and ‘Fenian b*******’, and said: “I hope you die like Ronan Kerr’.

When cautioned, Olphert, a deli chef, said again: “I hope you die like Ronan Kerr’.

During interview, Olphert was extremely aggressive, the court heard.

Defence counsel, Nicki Rountree, said Olphert had been in an argument with his partner and a neighbour called the police. Ms Rountree said the situation escalated rather quickly, and it was a stressful situation.

Ms Rountree said: “All rational thinking had gone out the window.”

Ms Rountree said the sentiments expressed by Olphert were not the sentiments he held, and he would not have made the comments other than for a large amount of alcohol he’d taken. She said Olphert would say he was not sectarian in any way and was extremely embarrassed to be in court.

The court heard Olphert did apologise to the officers for the comments he made to them and about their past colleague, and said ‘I’m sorry’.

“He is remorseful,” said Ms Rountree, who said it was “an extremely serious” matter.

District Judge Liam McNally said the comments made by Olphert were appalling and hurtful to the officers.

In sentencing, Judge McNally said he would take into account Olphert’s apology during interview, his guilty pleas and the fact he had nothing of this nature on his record.

Judge McNally imposed a sentence of five months’ jail suspended for three years.