Baseball bat wielding man who tried to get into victims' car spared jail
A man who tried to get into another man and woman's car armed with a baseball bat has been sentenced to 100 hours community service.
Gary Dempsey was also ordered to pay £100 compensation to each victim for "menacingly" tapping on their vehicle window with the weapon.
The 42-year-old, of Oakwood Road, Carrickfergus, Co Antrim, was convicted of two counts of assault and possession of an offensive weapon in public.
Belfast Magistrates' Court heard today how he "trapped" the victims in their car last October.
They were travelling along a one-way street in Carrickfergus when Dempsey stopped and got out of a vehicle in front of them.
He approached their car and asked why they had been following.
Despite their denials a prosecution lawyer said he started tapping the car window with the baseball bat and repeatedly tried to open a door.
The court he shouted in at the driver: "Come on, get out; this is your last chance or you're a dead man."
With the woman said to have been in tears, he left the scene after both victims insisted they had done nothing wrong.
Police later searched Dempsey's home and seized a wooden baseball bat.
A defence lawyer said he accepted responsibility for his behaviour and wanted to apologise.
"He completely overreacted," the solicitor said.
But District Judge John Meehan described a pre-sentence report as being "littered" with criticisms of police and "minimisation" of the incident.
He told Dempsey: "This was a bullying incident and it's always distressing to hear females reduced to tears, trapped in a car while someone is menacingly tapping on the window with a baseball bat."
Imposing the compensation and community service, the judge added: "The possession of an offensive weapon was a wilful and premeditated decision for the purpose of intimidation."
He also ordered the destruction of the baseball bat.
Belfast Telegraph Digital