Driver whose behaviour was 'indecent' sped off when approached by police
Published: 13 Oct 2012 15:01
Damien O'Keefe, 46, of Clones Road, Newtownbutler, admitted that his behaviour was indecent, that he failed to stop for the police and that he assaulted one officer and resisted another. He was given a Combination Order of 100 hours community service and 12 months probation, fined £100. He was also ordered to pay compensation of £300 to the officer he assaulted and £200 to the officer he resisted.
Drinking and driving charges were withdrawn.
A prosecutor told Fermanagh Court that around 3.45am on Sunday, October 23, last year, police saw a black Land Rover pull over to the side of the Clones Road at Newtownbutler. O'Keefe got out of the vehicle and went to the rear, where he began to urinate in full view of other road users. He then got back into the vehicle. The officers were concerned about his demeanour and went over and rapped the window to speak to him but he sped away. They went to his home and saw him in the front yard. The officers noticed signs of intoxication. O'Keefe was placed in the police car but became very agitated. He said he could not get his seat-belt to work and if it wasn't going to work he wasn't going anywhere. The officers tried to re-assure him and offered to swap seats with him. However, he struggled with the officers, got out of the car and ran towards the front door of the house, swinging the front gate with force against the police car.
Defence barrister, Miss Heather Philips, said O'Keefe had a record for public order offences but nothing of this nature. Since the imposition of a suspended prison sentence on him in 2009 he had made significant progress.
After reading a letter from a GP, District Judge Mervyn Bates told O'Keefe he had some sympathy with him on the indecent behaviour charge as "clearly you have a problem".
"However, it is no excuse for assaulting and resisting police," he stated.
"You seem to have had the red mist descend upon you in relation to a seat-belt," he added.
After reading references describing O'Keefe as an industrious member of the community involved in cross-community events, the District Judge added: "There are clearly two sides to your character which are irreconcilable."
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