A 23-year-old man, who a judge said “could have killed someone” with his erratic driving, pleaded guilty to ten offences, including assaulting a police officer, at Fermanagh Magistrates Court this week.

Jeremy McCordick, with an address of Doagh Road Derrygonnelly, escaped a prison sentence with District Judge Steven Keown imposing a two-year probation order along with 100 hours of community service.

The court heard that on February 23 this year police received several calls reporting a vehicle being driven in a reckless manner in the Derrygonnelly area. When police attended the area, they spoke to a member of the public who said they had been one of the people who had telephoned reporting the dangerous driving.

They were told that the vehicle in question was a white Citroen van while they were also informed that the driver of the van had in his possession a knife.

The court heard that police located the defendant on main street Derrygonnelly close to the Cosy Bar and subsequently found the white van parked behind the bar.

It was revealed that an arrest was made and that on the way to the station the defendant had become violent and spat on the back of a police officer’s head and had also spat into the front of the police vehicle.

A breath test carried out on McCordick recorded a reading of 93mg.

Defending solicitor Myles McManus told the court that this was an “unsavoury incident” but stated that the majority of the defendant’s previous convictions had come when he was a youth. He pointed to a “significant gap” in offences and told the court that McCordick was experiencing “significant personal difficulties” at the time of the incidents.

Mr. McManus went on to say that the defendant had caring responsibilities within his family and that he had referred himself to a number of addiction services and that the root of his offending came from his misuse of alcohol and other substances.

He also stated that his client had entered a plea at the earliest possible convenience and wanted to “deal with the matter head on” and that he was “under no illusion that the incident may have crossed the custody threshold”.

Mr. McKeown, when passing sentence, told McCordick that a “failure to comply will see you looking at a custodial sentence”

On the four motoring offences before the defendant; dangerous driving, no insurance, no MOT and driving with excess alcohol he received fines totally £350 and was disqualified from driving for two years.

In relation to the other charges; possessing a dangerous weapon, criminal damage, assault on police, threats to kill and two counts of resisting police, McCordick received two years’ probation and 100 hours of community service.