Portrush man Doey missed court due to 'death prank'
A solicitor said a Portrush man failed to show up at court because he was in a distressed state after being told his brother had died - although it turned out he had been cruelly pranked.
Stephen Christopher Doey (46), of Garron Park, was convicted of disorderly behaviour and assault on police, in his absence, on Monday.
He had previously denied the offences after an incident at Coleraine's Bannfield Road on March 14 this year, and the contest went ahead without him.
Lawyer Andrew Kinney told Coleraine Magistrates Court his client had also missed a court appearance the previous week and explained that was because Doey had been "advised his brother died on the Saturday".
Mr Kinney explained however the news had been a "prank played on" his client. He said the information was "completely erroneous" and it was because of those "exceptional circumstances" his client had missed the previous court.
Mr Kinney added: "He was in great distress at that stage. Actually, he was duped."
He said Doey had been considering making a report to police about what happened.
Mr Kinney added that another brother had even travelled home from London in anticipation of the funeral, and the "family were put out" by what happened.
Doey is due to be sentenced on Friday.
In March, the same court heard Doey breached his bail because he was confused by the clocks going forward an hour for British Summer Time.
Judge McNally said at the time he was not revoking bail as he would "make allowance for the change of time of the clocks".