Suspended jail term for biting officer

The courthouse at Bishop Street, Derry.
The courthouse at Bishop Street, Derry.

A man shouted sectarian abuse at police before biting an officer on the hand, a court has heard.

Eamon Quigley (23), of St Columb’s Wells, pleaded guilty to disorderly behaviour, assaulting and resisting police on November 3, last year.

Londonderry Magistrate’s Court heard police were called to Strand Foyer because Quigley and another man were throwing cans of beer out a window at members of the public.

The defendant became aggressive and was shouting sectarian abuse at the officers. He bit one officer on the hand, breaking the skin, and punched a second officer on the head.

The court was told this officer had to receive treatment in hospital for a minor head injury.

Quigley continued to struggle with police as he was arrested, striking out at them.

Defence Counsel Eoghan Devlin said his client accepted this was a very serious incident.

He told the court at this time the defendant was living away from home and had a considerable dependency on alcohol and drugs.

Mr Devlin said Quigley has since sought help for his problems and is back living with his family.

Suspending a four month sentence for two years, District Judge Barney McElholm said his was a “quite disgraceful incident”.

He also ordered Quigley to pay a total of £300 compensation to the two police officers he assaulted.