PICTURE : MARK JAMIESON
A drunk man who ‘broke into’ a PSNI Station claimed he was “fearful for his life” as he thought he was being chased, a court heard on Monday.
Finbar Ciaran O’Connor (37), of Castle Street, Ballycastle, scaled a security wall at the town’s Police Station just before midnight on Friday January 5 this year, a prosecutor told Coleraine Magistrates Court.
In the run up the incident the defendant had been at a house party which lasted at least four days. When officers offered to take him home from the PSNI Station, which is at Ballycastle’s Ramoan Road, he became disorderly and kicked a police car and spat.
When arrested he then exposed himself and urinated in the rear of a PSNI car.
O’Connor, who had a previous criminal record, was in court for sentencing after earlier pleading guilty to the two charges he faced – being disorderly at Castle Street, Ballycastle, and causing criminal damage to the interior of a police car. He was not charged in relation to entering the police station.
A prosecutor said that at 11.55pm on January 5 police spoke to the “intoxicated” defendant at Ballycastle Police Station where he had climbed a “perimeter wall”.
At the earlier hearing, District Judge Peter King asked for clarification from a prosecutor, with the judge then remarking: “He scaled a police station wall, he broke into a police station”.
At Monday’s Court the prosecutor said the defendant had entered the station because he “thought he was being followed”.
The prosecuting lawyer said police then took O’Connor the short distance to his home address but he became disorderly saying: ‘F*cking arrest me, f*cking scum” and he kicked out at a police car.
He was arrested and on the way to a custody suite at Coleraine PSNI Station he continued “shouting abuse” and urinated in the rear of a police vehicle.
The prosecutor said the defendant said: “I asked on numerous occasions to use the toilet and I had no intention of damaging any thing.”
At the earlier hearing, in February, Judge King said both “paranoia” and “aggression” were involved in the case and he said assistance from Probation was required.
At Monday’s court, defence barrister Thomas McKeever said: “On the night in question he was fearful for his life. He thought people were chasing after him, he was heavily intoxicated.
“He is a man who suffers from alcoholism. He did receive a death threat in prison some years ago. When he is intoxicated there are memories brought back of such threats”.
The lawyer said O’Connor had wanted to be arrested him “to be brought away from Ballycastle”.
Mr McKeever said the urinating incident happened because the defendant had to wait for a time in a police car at Coleraine PSNI Station because officers were “busy” in the custody suite.
Judge King told O’Connor: “Quite frankly, on one level there is an element of comedy to this but on another level you clearly thought that you were under a degree of threat”.
The judge noted a Probation report showed the defendant had been at a house party which had “gone on for four or five days” prior to the incidents.
“There is clearly an alcohol problem”, said the judge, and in a bid to stop the defendant “scaling police walls” he put the defendant on Probation for a year with a condition that he takes part in the ‘Thinking Skills’ programme.
* The PSNI website says that since April last year the ‘enquiry office’ at Ballycastle Police Station was ‘no longer open to the public for routine business’.