Couple get suspended sentences for assault

A man accused of assault and his girlfriend, who obstructed officers trying to arrest him, have both been sentenced to six months prison, suspended for two years.

A man accused of assault and his girlfriend, who obstructed officers trying to arrest him, have both been sentenced to six months prison, suspended for two years.

Jodie Lydon (24) of 8 Springfield Park, Dunkineely was charged at Donegal District Court last Wednesday with obstructing a guard in the course of his duties on January 1 last at Main Street, Killybegs.

Shane McPherson (23) of the same address, was charged with assault and using threatening or abusive words or behaviour at Cope House, Killybegs on the same date.

Inspector Denis Joyce told the court that an altercation took place during which McPherson threw a bottle and hit someone in the face. The injured party did not require medical attention.

McPherson’s girlfriend interfered with the arrest while he gave a wrong name and ran off. However, a guard caught up with him and arrested him.

Inspector Joyce said McPherson has a number of previous convictions, including a racist attack and racially aggravated assault in Coventry as well as public order offences in Ireland . Last November, he was convicted for possession of a knife, for which he served a partially suspended sentence in Castlereagh.

Taking the stand, McPherson gave evidence that he has been attending a doctor since last April and is on medication to help him deal with his alcohol problems. He furnished a letter from the doctor and said he had not taken drink for a number of months. He and his girlfriend are expecting a baby and wants to be here to help take care of her, he saidl

Inspector Joyce challenged him: “I put it to you that you moved here to avoid sentence in Britain.”

McPherson replied: “ Yeah, to keep out of trouble, yeah.”

Inspector Joyce continued: “Up to a month ago, he was in Great Britain serving a sentence: he hasn’t come to our notice since then.”

Judge Kilrane commented: “He doesn’t deserve a bouquet for that.”

He added: “Do you need minding? If you do, we’ll find a place for you where you’ll be minded. Are you going to bring your blackguardism over her from Britain?”

He sentenced both Lydon and McPherson to two years in prison, suspended on condtiion that they not re-offend over the next two years.