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Do me a favour and jail me, an alcoholic tells judge

By Alan Erwin

Published 22/07/2015

Judge hitting gavel
Judge hitting gavel

A chronic alcoholic who asked to be jailed for assaulting a police worker has been handed a four-month sentence. Darragh Kerr (22) had urged the judge to send him to prison to help him beat his addiction.

Appearing before Belfast Magistrates Court for sentencing, he admitted having taken drink before entering the dock.

Kerr, with a hostel address at Verner Street in the city, was convicted of disorderly behaviour, resisting police and assault on a PSNI staff member.

He had sworn and struggled with an officer after being spotted at Donegall Place on January 18. Kerr lashed out again after his arrest, kicking a civilian custody officer on the leg, the court heard.

District Judge Fiona Bagnall was at first reluctant to sentence him because he had been drinking.

The defendant opposed her suggestion to adjourn the case for a day, insisted he would not be sober then either.

He told the judge: "If you put me in prison you would do me a favour, it would actually get me off the drink."

Defence barrister John O'Connor said it was the first time a client had instructed him to seek a period behind bars.

Judge Bagnall imposed a four-month jail sentence.

She said: "It's not because he wants custody, but because there are no other options."

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