Dad punched boy and stole his phone

Published: 27 Sep 2012 13:00

A 25-year-old father of two, who punched a boy in the face and stole his phone, has been jailed for 12 months.

Sean Duffy.

Sean Edward Duffy, of Drumbawn, Drumclay, Enniskillen, appeared before Fermanagh Court in January and admitted assaulting Jamie Kirkpatrick and the theft of his £200 Blackberry Curve mobile phone.

District Judge Liam McNally deferred sentencing for six months, telling Duffy that if he committed no further offences and paid the boy £200 compensation the prison sentence would be suspended.

However, within two months Duffy was being disorderly and five months after that was attacking police, punching and resisting one officer and spitting in a policewoman's face during a disturbance in a pub.

Outlining the series of offences, a prosecutor told the court that at on May 31, 2011, student Jamie Kirkpatrick was attending a course at Rutledge Recruitment at Darling Street in Enniskillen. Around 4.15pm he received a call from Duffy's brother, Blaine, asking him to meet them outside. When the boy went outside he was attacked by Duffy's brother and his mobile phone fell out of his pocket. Duffy grabbed the phone and punched the boy on the side of his face. He and his brother then got into a car and drove off. Police stopped them on the Irvinestown Road in Enniskillen. Duffy admitted driving in the area of Darling Street but denied the offences.

Sentencing in that case was deferred on January 11, this year, for a period of six months to see if Duffy could stay out of trouble.

However, the prosecutor told the court that two months later, on March 11, just after 8.30pm, Duffy was verbally abusive towards police at Kilmacormick Avenue in Enniskillen. They then returned to their car and were about to leave when Duffy gestured towards them with two fingers and mouthed the words "f--king w--kers" before beckoning them to approach him. As they did so, he ran off. He was arrested a short time later at a shop on the nearby Cornagrade Road. He tried to get out of the police car and had to be restrained by the officers.

"He lasted a couple of months," noted the District Judge.

The prosecutor said five months after that, at 12.40am on Saturday, August 4, police were travelling through Enniskillen when they saw Duffy in a group of approximately five men outside Pat's Bar. When he say them he squatted down behind one of the other men to try and avoid being seen by the officers.

He later asked police: "Where have you been for the past five months, can you not play a game of hide-and-seek?"

The officers knew there were three outstanding warrants for him and when a policewoman went to speak to Duffy about them he pushed her away and ran into Pat's Bar. He was located on the dance floor. He punched one officer in the face. A member of the public went to the assistance of the police. Duffy then spat in a policewoman's face. He tried to spit at her again but was restrained by her colleagues. As he struggled with them on the ground he grabbed the leg of a bar stool and tried to pull it on top of the officers who were retraining him. He was arrested and cautioned and replied: "F--k off."

Defence barrister, Miss Heather Philips, said Duffy was in breach of the deferral. On March 11, he consumed alcohol, a common feature in all his behaviour, and became abusive. He was not violent on that occasion.

She described the incident of August 4, as a more serious matter. He had been out with his partner and consumed an "excessive amount of alcohol". When he was approached by the police a struggle ensued.

She asked the District Judge to take into account the totality of whatever sentence he imposed.

The District Judge said that if he did not do that, Duffy would be going to jail for around 18 months.

He told Duffy he had taken into account everything Miss Philips had said, in particular the issue of the overall sentence being fair and proportional.

Jailing him for a total of 12 months, he told him it was a pity he didn't take advantage of having the deferral.

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