Suspended term after PSNI assault

Editorial image.
Editorial image.

A man who spat at police officers has received a suspended sentence.

Thomas Doherty, of Fern Park, pleaded guilty to assaulting police, criminal damage and resisting police.

The charges relate to an incident on January 28.

Londonderry Magistrate’s Court heard police were called to Collon Lane to reports of an ongoing altercation. The 28-year-old was shirtless and was being restrained by another man.

Doherty shouted at police repeatedly and then spat in the direction of police. He also spat in the police car.

Defence solicitor Seamus Quigley told the court there had been a family row and the 28-year-old ‘lost all sense of rationality’.

He added that Doherty ‘felt bad’ for what he had done to the police officers’.

Mr Quigley told the court his client has ‘issues to deal with’ and had tried to do this in the past.

Suspending a three month jail term for two years, Deputy District Judge Austin Kennedy said the approach Doherty had taken was ‘refreshing’. However, the judge said if the 28-year-old didn’t deal with his issues he ‘ will spend a long time in custody’.

He added ‘spitting is an appalling offence. You are quite lucky you are not going to prison today’.