Belfast Telegraph

Addict who waved pitchfork at pensioner, threatened to burn her out and set dog on officer avoids jail

By Staff Reporter

A Co Antrim man waved a pitchfork and threatened to torch a grandmother's home before setting his dog on a police officer who was bitten on the buttock, a court has heard.

However, the bull terrier also attacked the defendant, Robert Wayne McAllister (40), Ballymena Magistrates Court was told yesterday.

A prosecutor said that at 9am on August 4 last year police received a 999 call that McAllister had damaged a car and threatened to burn a neighbour out.

He then lifted a ladder from the neighbour's house, claiming he was only borrowing it, before he arrived back with the pitchfork and animal.

He pushed the pitchfork towards the neighbour's door and she feared the glass would be smashed.

McAllister told the woman, who had two grandchildren in the house: "Don't forget you have to live here."

The woman felt "shaken up" and fled to a nearby house, and McAllister threatened to burn her house down before kicking her car.

When police arrived the defendant set a bull terrier dog on an officer, saying: "Get him, get him."

The officer was bitten on the buttock by the dog, which then also bit McAllister. At a previous court, a defence solicitor said his client's conduct had been "shocking" and McAllister wished to profoundly apologise for what happened, "particularly to the elderly lady who lives next door to his mother". The lawyer told the court last year that the defendant was under the influence of drugs on the date in question and had been attempting to withdraw from substances.

McAllister, who had different addresses listed in Cullybackey and at Beechwood Avenue in Ballymena, was in court in connection with charges of assaults on police, resisting a police officer, criminal damage to a car and making a threat to damage a house.

He was sentenced to a five-month jail term, suspended for 18 months; put on probation for 18 months, and issued with a two-year restraining order banning him from harassing the neighbour.

He also pleaded guilty to incidents in June last year at Antrim Area Hospital.

McAllister admitted charges of disorderly behaviour, two assaults on police and one charge of resisting one of the officers in the execution of her duty.

One officer was pushed and another was punched in the face.

At a previous court hearing, District Judge Peter King said the defendant's behaviour had been "completely and utterly unacceptable".

Belfast Telegraph

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