Disorderly man at Housing Executive office appears in court

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A man who committed more offences just one day after he was released from prison has been jailed.

Appearing before Londonderry Magistrates Court was 52-year-old Patrick James Anthony Farren, of Stoneburn Place, Currynierin in the Waterside, pleaded guilty to indulging in disorderly behaviour on July 11.

The charge relates to an incident which took place inside the Northern Ireland Housing Executive office in the Waterside.

The Deputy District Judge, Sean O’Hare, heard that Farren’s behaviour occurred the day after the 52-year-old was released from prison, having served a one month prison sentence for other offences.

The Court heard he also received a suspended sentence on July 10 for similar offences.

Outlining the incident, the prosecution said police were called to the Northern Ireland Housing Executive office because Farren had stripped to the waist and was sleeping on the premises.

On arrival at the scene, staff informed the PSNI officers that Farren had verbally abused them because they had told him he could not buy his bungalow.

Shown to where Farren was, the police found him shirtless, wearing just his trousers and shoes.

When officers tried to wake the 52-year-old he was verbally abusive to them and he told them to “f--- off” several times.

The Deputy District Judge was told that police warned Farren about his behaviour. Yet, despite the warning he told them “f--- off you b-------. I don’t need any police. F--- off’.

The prosecution said there were members of the public and numerous Housing Executive staff present at the time and because of his behaviour, Farren was arrested.

It was revealed the 52-year-old has 174 previous convictions.

Defence solicitor Brendan Kearney said his client had a windfall because his benefits had continued to be paid while he was in prison.

Mr Kearney said Farren then got the idea into his head that he could buy the property he and his family have lived at for some time.

Urging the Court to give the 52-year-old a chance, Mr Kearney said if his client went to jail nothing would be achieved except from removing him from the streets.

He added prison sentences have not done Farren any good and that his client needed assistance for his alcohol addiction.

Jailing Farren for four months, and activating the suspended sentence, Deputy District Judge Sean O’Hare said: “There was no reason for you to go in and cause this sort of disturbance.”

He said it must have been very upsetting for NIHE staff and the public who witnessed it.

Farren was ordered to pay an offender levy of £25.