Belfast Telegraph

Man with 300 convictions jailed for shouting at being made homeless

By Alan Erwin

A man with more than 300 previous convictions was sent to jail for shouting in the street at being made homeless, the High Court heard today.

Noel Campbell's lawyers confirmed plans to challenge a total sentence of six months behind bars imposed following his arrest in Ballymena, Co Antrim.

But a judge refused to grant him bail ahead of next week's appeal hearing, deciding it was better for him to remain in jail.

Referring to Campbell's criminal record, Mr Justice Weir added: "This one is so thick that a staple can't pierce it."

The 55-year-old defendant, of no fixed address, was handed a one-month sentence for disorderly behaviour at Ballymena Magistrates' Court last week.

The offence was connected to an incident at Dunclug Gardens in the town on January 22.

He was said to have become involved in a row with his daughter's partner before being excluded from a house where he was staying.

The district judge also activated a previously suspended five-month sentence for assaulting a police designated person.

Seeking bail today, defence counsel Neil Moore outlined the main grounds of appeal he plans to advance next week.

He questioned whether Campbell "being made homeless and shouting in the street merits an immediate period of imprisonment".

Mr Moore revealed that he has acted for the defendant over the last two decades.

Campbell has amassed a total of 309 previous convictions, the court heard.

"At 55 prison is becoming more difficult for him," his barrister added.

After studying Campbell's record, Mr Justice Weir commented: "You'd think by the age he's at now he would be giving up."

Refusing bail pending the appeal hearing, the judge decided: "I think he will do better to appear from custody."

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