A DRINK driver who lashed out at police officers after he was taken to hospital for treatment to injuries sustained when he crashed his car has been sentenced to five months in jail.

Richard Slattery (30), of Main Street, Ballinamallard, pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol in his blood at Mullaghmeen Road, Ballinamallard, using a motor vehicle without insurance or a driving licence and two counts of assaulting a police officer on November 26, 2016.

In connection with a separate incident, he also pleaded guilty to further offences of using disorderly behaviour on Main Street, Ballinamallard and resisting arrest on February 27, 2017.

Slattery appeared in the dock at Fermanagh Magistrates Court for sentencing last Wednesday.

The court heard that, on November 26, police were called to the scene of a road traffic collision in which a Vauxhall Vectra had overturned.

Although there was no-one in the car, the defendant was found hiding in a hedgerow nearby, with blood on his hands and over his tracksuit bottoms.

He had sustained an injury to his thigh and complained of a sore leg, the court heard.

After he failed a preliminary breath test, he was cautioned but made no reply.

When he was taken to hospital for treatment, he had to be restrained due to his aggressive behaviour. While the defendant was lying on a trolley he was abusive to police officers in attendance.

He told them, “tick, tick, boom,” and made a reference to Constable Ronan Kerr, who was murdered in a car bomb attack in 2011.

Slattery then kicked out at police and had to be restrained while other officers arrived.

During interview the next day, the defendant denied driving the vehicle and claimed he couldn’t remember assaulting the police.

An analysis of his blood showed that he had 164 milligrams of alcohol in 100ml of blood - just over twice the legal limit.

Meanwhile, on February 27 last year, police had reason to speak to the defendant and arrest him at Main Street, Ballinamallard. Slattery then verbally abused passers-by as he had to be forcibly placed in the rear of a police vehicle.

Defending counsel, Stephen Fitzpatrick, told the court that sentencing had been deferred in the case to see if his client could stay out of trouble, but conceded that he had not followed through to engage with services he clearly required.

The barrister said that, thankfully, in the driving matter no-one other than Slattery was injured.

“Mr. Slattery does recognise it was disgusting behaviour in the hospital,” he said.

District judge, Michael Ranaghan, observed that the defendant had been given a chance by the court to address some of his problems, but he had failed to do so.

The judge imposed an immediate five-month custodial sentence, a £25 offender levy and an 18-month driving disqualification.