| 11°C Belfast

Belfast man accused of trying to bite police officers

Close

He faces charges of assault, disorderly behaviour, and possession of an offensive weapon

He faces charges of assault, disorderly behaviour, and possession of an offensive weapon

PA Wire/PA Images

He faces charges of assault, disorderly behaviour, and possession of an offensive weapon

A customer allegedly brandished a security post set up for social distancing and tried to bite police officers at a shop in west Belfast, a court heard today.

Declan McKernan is accused of baring his teeth at one constable called to the Eurospar, on the Springfield Road, and threatening: "I will take your f****** head off."

The 31-year-old, of Beechmount Parade in the city, faces charges of assault on police, disorderly behaviour, common assault and possession of an offensive weapon over the incident on Tuesday.

He was granted bail on conditions including a ban on entering the store.

Belfast Magistrates' Court heard McKernan had been acting aggressively and shouting at staff outside the shop.

CCTV footage allegedly showed him lift a post set up to encourage social distancing and use it as a weapon to frighten others away from him.

A PSNI officer claimed he then assaulted a security guard preventing him from entering due to his actions.

When he was detained McKeran allegedly opened his mouth, baring his teeth at a constable who believed he was going to be bitten.

District Judge Fiona Bagnall was told the accused stated: "When I get these handcuffs off I will take your f****** head off."

According to police he continued shouting, stating "I will never give up" and "our day will come".

During the struggle he allegedly attempted to bite one officer on the leg and another on the hands and fingers.

Defence solicitor Brendan Blaney described McKernan as a vulnerable individual who was trying to buy meat and provisions for his family.

An altercation developed with a member of staff who wrongly believed the accused was being aggressive, he contended.

"Sometimes the disorder he suffers from can be misinterpreted... as him coming across as belligerent," Mr Blaney said.

He insisted no-one was hurt or any damage caused by the alleged brandishing of the social distancing post.

Granting bail to McKernan, Judge Bagnall ordered: "He is excluded from the Eurospar on the Springfield Road."


Belfast Telegraph