Drank whisky and then ripped out the gas main

Judge's court wig and hammer or gavel
Judge's court wig and hammer or gavel

After drinking a bottle of whisky a 35-year-old man damaged a gas system at a house and threw furniture down the stairs at police who arrived on the scene.

And at last Thursday’s sitting of Banbridge Magistrates Court he was ordered to pay compensation for the damage he caused.

James Kordek, Primrose Gardens, Banbridge, admitted criminal damage to windows, a police vehicle and a gas main on November 15 last year.

He also pleaded guilty to three assaults on police and disorderly behaviour. For each of the offences he was given 175 hours community service.

He was also ordered to pay £1,369 to Firmus Gas for the damage to the gas main, a £49 reconnection fee to Firmus Gas, £66.24 for damage to a police vehicle, £281 to the Housing Executive for broken windows and £275 compensation to one of the constables he assaulted.

The court heard that at 9.30pm police were called to Hillhead Gardens in Banbridge after a report of a domestic incident.

When they arrived neighbours were in the street and smashing could be heard in the property. Gas equipment had been broken and there was a smell of gas at the front of the property.

There was a child and female inside and when police went inside Kordek threw furniture down the stairs at them.

The defendant who was extremely intoxicated was aggressive and struck out with his feet hitting a constable in the face before spitting on a seat of the police vehicle. There were two smashed windows in the property and the gas box had been ripped out.

When interviewed the next day Kordek said he had no recollection of the events.

He explained that he did not drink regularly but he had consumed a bottle of whisky that day. He was visibly shocked when the body worn camera footage was shown to him.

A barrister representing Kordek said he was a USA citizen brought up in Florida who had been living with his partner in Banbridge for two years.

He explained there was an issue with his status as he had overstayed his visa and had been allowed three months to sort out his affairs before returning to Florida.

The barrister added that Kordek had consumed a bottle of whisky and was not used to hard drinking.

Imposing the community service District Judge, Mr Paul Copeland, said this was ‘drunken outrageous behaviour’.