Belfast Telegraph

Belfast 'cage fighter' lunged at police after homeless charity row

Emmet Kelly was handed 100 hours community service.
Emmet Kelly was handed 100 hours community service.

By Alan Erwin

A man declared himself a cage fighter and lunged at a police officer after being arrested over an outburst at a homeless charity's Belfast headquarters, a court heard today.

Prosecutors said Emmet Kelly threw a computer to the ground and flipped over a football machine when informed he was being excluded from the Welcome Organisation.

The 33-year-old, of Carrigart Avenue in the city, was given 100 hours community service and 18 months probation.

Belfast Magistrates' Court heard that a coordinator dealing with a medical incident involving a woman at the Welcome Centre's Townsend Street base had been told by Kelly: "Let her die."

When informed that he was being excluded for two weeks the defendant then became aggressive and lost his temper, lifting the computer and grabbing a football table, a Crown lawyer claimed.

He allegedly pushed the coordinator in the chest before leaving the centre.

Kelly was later detained and taken into custody.

The prosecutor added: "Whilst he was standing with a constable he stated that he was a cage fighter, he would fight the constable and was waving his arms above his head."

District Judge Fiona Bagnall was told Kelly then lunged his shoulder towards the officer, who had to restrain him by the hands.

Defence solicitor Emmanuel Morgan said his client attended the charity for a number of years and had returned to apologise in person.

"The staff at the Welcome Centre have taken a somewhat benign view of his behaviour, which is forgiving of them, and they are prepared to have him back," he continued.

Mr Morgan also stressed no actual physical contact with the police officer occurred.

Sentencing Kelly for the common assault, criminal damage and assault on police, Judge Bagnall warned any breach could lead to imprisonment.

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