Man’s comments had sectarian overtones


A Banbridge man who verbally abused a police officer during a public order incident in the town has been fined £200 and bound over to keep the peace for two years.

Christopher Martin from Summerhill was also ordered to pay an offender’s levy of £15 and warned that if he does not pay the fines on time, he could face 28 days in prison.

District Judge Paul Copeland said he was familiar with the incident on 29th June stating in court that according to the police papers, Martin had “proffered sectarian abuse” at the police officer who was trying to reason with him.

However, Mr Copeland said these charges were dropped.

Prosecution explained how at 2am on 29 June, police were dealing with public disorder and in the process of arresting a man, when Martin appeared demanding to know what police were doing.

Referring to the man being arrested, Martin said, “He done f*** all.”

He continued demanding answers and interfering with the arrest and began throwing his arms about shouting various obscenities.

Judge Mr Copeland referred to a police warning Martin had received in September 2013, saying, “he took very little notice of it.”

A solicitor said his client now understands fully the consequences of his actions, telling the court that when Martin has drink on board it affects his character.

Again Mr Copeland referred back to the “sectarian overtones towards one police officer.”

He said Martin “made provocative remarks about his appearance.”

Mr Copeland adjourned the case until 2pm on Thursday afternoon, placing Martin in custody for a short time before sentencing him.