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Northern Ireland man's darts trip to Scotland 'ended in drunken rampage'

By Rory Cassidy

A darts fan from Northern Ireland spent two nights behind bars in Scotland for trapping a policeman in his car and then attacking another officer who was trying to arrest him.

Drunken John Moorehead missed his flight back to Northern Ireland, leaving his mother to look after his children for longer than arranged.

And Moorehead, of Newtownards, Co Down, was warned he faces being locked up again if he fails to return to face justice following his conduct towards Police Scotland officers.

The details emerged yesterday when Moorehead (40) appeared in the dock at Paisley Sheriff Court over his weekend antics.

He struck a deal with prosecutors which saw him pleading guilty to three of the four charges he faced.

He admitted behaving in a threatening or abusive manner which was likely to cause a reasonable person to suffer fear or alarm by shouting, swearing, threatening violence and trapping PC Fraser Murray in his police car.

The first charge he admitted stated that he did "lean against the front offside door of the police vehicle there, which was stationary in the roadway, whereby Fraser Murray PC was unable to open the door from said vehicle."

And he also admitted assaulting PC Euan McMillan by grabbing him by the body armour and trying to punch him during the melee in New Street, Paisley, Renfrewshire, on Saturday, February 18.

Moorehead also pleaded guilty to shouting and swearing and hurling more threats of violence when he was taken to Helen Street police station, in the Govan area of Glasgow, to be processed for the offences.

In exchange for those guilty pleas, prosecutors dropped a fourth charge that Moorhead had struggled with four police officers - PCs McMillan and Murray and officers Douglas McGlynn and Michael MacAuley.

The exact details of Moorehead's rampage were not revealed in court and defence solicitor Waqqas Ashraf asked for him to be released on bail adding: "He is from Northern Ireland.

"He is fully aware he will have to return for sentencing.

"This is in relation to drink and a separation.

"He was here in Scotland for a darts event.

"His mother was looking after the children and, clearly, he was to go back to look after them."

As Sheriff David Pender deferred sentence until next month and called for background reports, he said: "I have two options here - grant you bail until the date given or remand you in custody for a period of up to 28 days.

"I'm going to give you bail, it seems you have young kids to look after.

"If you do not attend on the next occasion, a warrant will be granted for your arrest, you will be brought back over here and you will not get bail.

"If you care for your kids and hope to keep caring for them, you'll be here on the next occasion."

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