A MAN who is well-known as a ‘street preacher’ in Coleraine town centre, where he hands out religious tracts, has been fined £300 for putting a woman in fear of assault and resisting police.
David McConnell (63), of Liswatty Road in Coleraine, had the case dealt with in his absence at Coleraine Magistrates Court, sitting in Ballymena, on Monday.
A prosecutor told the court that on February 21 this year a woman was “put in immediate fear of violence” by the defendant.
When arrested he resisted a police officer by moving his hands about trying to stop handcuffs being applied.
The prosecutor said when cautioned the defendant made no reply.
Defence barrister Thomas McKeever told District Judge Peter King he “may be familiar with” the defendant who had been in court before.
The defence lawyer said he did not think the defendant’s liberty was in any jeopardy by the court appearance.
Judge King noted the defendant had previously been fined and given a conditional discharge for other matters.
The court was told the defendant had a “learning disability”; is assisted by a social worker and his “finances are managed by another party”.
The court heard the assault on the woman was a technical assault and Mr McKeever said the incident related to “an ex-partner” of the defendant’s.
The lawyer said the defendant wished to apologise and was very regretful.
Judge King said: “I think I am going to characterise this, not to take away what happened on the night, but this is high-end disorderly behaviour, I don’t think there is anything more sinister to it than that. I am aware Mr McConnell has a number of issues”.