£500 fine for assault thug who slandered murdered PSNI man Ronan Kerr
A court has heard how a Co Antrim man approached police at last year’s Auld Lammas Fair in Ballycastle and made a verbal slur against murdered PSNI Constable Ronan Kerr.
Constable Kerr was murdered by dissident republicans just months earlier in Omagh.
A prosecutor said that Aidan Clarke (25), of Moyle Road, Ballycastle, told police: “F*** Ronan Kerr. He has got what he deserved. He was a traitor to the Catholic people of Ireland.”
Clarke also told an officer: “Check under your car and tell your wife to be careful.”
The comments were made to police on public order duties at The Diamond in Ballycastle at 1am on August 29 last year.
A prosecutor told the the Magistrates Court in Coleraine that Clarke approached officers and was verbally abusive. He said that when Clarke was led to the rear of a Land Rover to ascertain his identity he made the comments about the murdered police officer.
The defendant also threw a takeaway bag at a police inspector, and when he was placed in the Land Rover he slapped the inspector three times on the face.
Clarke pleaded guilty to charges of disorderly behaviour and assault on police.
A defence barrister said that Clarke, who he described as “hard-working”, was drinking and it caused him to behave in a way in which he had never done before.
Fining Clarke, who had a clear record, a total of £500 and ordering him to pay £100 compensation to the policeman who was slapped, District Judge Richard Wilson warned him that if he persisted in such behaviour he would end up in jail.
He also told him to curtail his alcohol intake.