A Ballymoney man who boozed on Buckfast and beer before spitting in a paramedic’s face who came to his aid has been ordered to carry out 180 hours of unpaid work.
Scott Robert Connor, of John Street, appeared before Coleraine Magistrates Court on June 17.
The 26-year-old pleaded guilty to assaulting an ambulance worker in the execution of his duty and indecent behaviour at John Street on April 17 this year.
The court heard how police had been called to assist paramedics called to his home after Connor became agitated and spat on an ambulance worker’s right cheek.
After running out and urinating in the street in view of the paramedic, Connor was taken to hospital due to concerns over his heath.
During a police interview Connor said he had downed six beers and a bottle of Buckfast before taking medication.
He didn’t remember urinating in the street or telling paramedics “I’ll take you both” or spitting but said: “It did happen, those boys wouldn’t lie about it.”
Connor later penned a letter of apology to the paramedic involved and said he was embarrassed about how he had behaved.
In his defence, the court was told that Connor had taken a cocktail of alcohol and prescribed medication. He now realised that the ambulance workers had been there to help him and had apologised the next day, entering early guilty pleas.
Connor, who was “disgusted with himself,” had secured employment with a steel erecting firm and realised how “utterly irresponsibly” he had been.
The solicitor said the incident had involved a “health care professional” and Connor had been made aware of the court’s views on such matters.
The lawyer said Connor accepted his behaviour had been “totally and utterly irresponsible and disgusting”.
District Judge Peter King told Connor anyone who behaved in such a way towards the emergency services were putting their liberty at risk.
He added: “If you spit on a police officer, paramedic or fire officer, anyone going about their duty to this community, you are risking imprisonment. This offence merits a custodial sentence of four months.”
He told Connor he viewed spitting on a paramedic so seriously that if he did not complete 180 hours of unpaid work he would be sent to jail for four months.