A 33-year-old Limavady man told police who arrested him ‘I will find out where you live - boom boom’, a court has heard.
Gareth Ronald Witherow from Dowland Road was sentenced at Limavady Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday for the offences of assault on police and common assault.
The court heard on June 1 this year police received a report of an incident involving two males in a local pizza bar.
The victim said he had been walking from work to his car along Catherine Street when he was approached by Witherow who was singing football songs.
The injured party said Witherow pushed him and asked him if he was Catholic.
The injured party said he managed to extricate himself from the situation, and subsequently went into a pizza bar to seek refuge.
Witherow followed him into the pizza bar, and took his coat off and appeared to square up to him, but never actually assaulted him, the court heard. However, the victim asked staff to call police.
Officers arrived and arrested Witherow for common assault.
When he was in the rear of the police vehicle, Witherow made remarks to police, including ‘I’ll find out where you live - boom boom’.
Witherow also made reference to the officer being from Scotland, saying: “You shouldn’t be in this country. You’re from Scotland.”
The court also heard that Witherow took a swing at a police officer and attempted to assault the officer.
Defence solicitor Paddy McGurk told the court his client couldn’t remember anything about it, but said Witherow accepted he had “behaved abominably” and had shown “absolute remorse”.
Mr McGurk said his client’s remarks were “unsavoury, which no court likes to see”, and pointed out Witherow “has friends on both sides of the religious divide”.
Regarding the Scotland remarks to the police officer, Mr McGurk said “whoever was on his rader that night was going to get some verbal abuse”.
District Judge Liam McNally said Witherow had taken exception to the injured party in his perception he was a Catholic.
Mr McNally told Witherow: “The only thing saving you from being sent straight to prison is you were able to curb your agressiveness and not actually assault the man.”
Witherow was sentenced to complete 12 months probation and 80 hours community service.