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Alcoholic ‘attacked police car with axe’

An alcoholic attacked a police car with an axe after officers told him his pal could not take off his electronic tagging device, the High Court was told.

Prosecutors claimed William Ward (44) smashed the windscreen in a fit of temper after his friend was denied permission to remove the device and stay out longer.

The court heard yesterday how a co-accused is alleged to have been carrying a machete during the attack in a housing estate in Ballymena on July 11.

Two officers who were caught up in what a judge described as “a quite terrifying set of circumstances” were left badly shocked but uninjured.

Ward, of Kew Gardens, Ballymena, faces charges of possessing an offensive weapon in public, criminal damage, attempted grievous bodily harm with intent, and assault on police.

He was refused bail due to the risk of further offences.

Tessa Kitson, prosecuting, said the constables went his home when he contacted police just after 1am claiming carloads of men armed with axes and swords had threatened him.

She told the court Ward emerged holding a long-handled axe, while a co-accused brandished the machete, after one of the officers got out of the car.

Despite being ordered to drop what he was carrying, it was claimed Ward repeatedly struck and shattered the windscreen.

Charles McCreanor, defending, said Ward deeply regretted what had happened and had asked him to apologise on his behalf.

Mr McCreanor told the court Ward was an alcoholic who would immediately seek medical help.

Refusing bail, judge Lord Justice Girvan said that a new application could be made if appropriate arrangements for dealing with Ward's alcoholism were provided.

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