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Northern Ireland man jailed for indecent behaviour and assaults on paramedics

Defendant went into a cafe holding statue of the Virgin Mary and exposed his genitals, court hears

By George Jackson

An alcoholic who exposed himself in a cafe and assaulted paramedic twice has been jailed for six months at the Magistrate's Court in Derry.

Sentencing Mark Hasson (50) from Mitchell Park in Dungiven to prison on Friday, June 2, District Judge Barney McElholm said assaults on ambulance paramedics simply could not be tolerated by any decent society.

A solicitor for the Public Prosecution Service told the court the first assault took place on May 19 of last year. The ambulance service requested the assistance of the police when they were treating Hasson, who was drunk, inside an ambulance on the lower deck of the Craigavon Bridge.

Hasson punched a paramedic twice as the ambulance worker was treating him in the ambulance. He also tried to grab the male paramedic around the neck.

The police officers handcuffed Hasson and asked him to leave the ambulance but he refused to do so.

They then lifted Hasson from the ambulance and placed him in the rear of a police car from where he continually verbally abused the officers.

In the second incident, which took place at Foyle Road last March 20, Hasson hit out at a paramedic who was treating him and he swung aggressively towards the ambulance worker.

Hasson also pleaded guilty to committing the offence of indecent behaviour in a cafe in Foyle Street on May 18 of last year.

"He went into the cafe holding a statue of the Virgin Mary and pulled down his trousers and underwear exposing his genitals to three man in the cafe", the solicitor said.

Defence barrister Stephen Mooney said it was a tragic series of events. He said Hasson realised he was an alcoholic and had taken steps to address his addiction issues.

"On one occasion he obtained a loan of £4,500 which he used to pay for private counselling in Donegal. However as in the past when his treatment programmes ended he would re-offend almost immediately", he said.

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